How are NFTs changing art?
If you’re a regular user of the web, you’re probably familiar with NFTs.
If you’re not, we can summarize the definition of an NFT to a digital asset that cannot be interchanged for another digital asset of the same kind.
NFT art has a huge advantage over traditional art.
This is because NFT art can be anything from an image, music, or video, to a simple tweet or word.
NFT art has also allowed everyone to be part of the community; you don’t have to be a renowned artist for people to embrace your art.
So how exactly are NFTs different from traditional art?
Problems NFTs are fixing
Ownership and authenticity: NFTs are minted through smart contracts that assign ownership and manage the transferability of the art. Ownership can also be verified on the blockchain anytime.
Empowering artists: NFTs have made it very easy for digital artists to get rewarded for their work and connect with their fans. With NFTs, you only need a crypto wallet to connect with marketplaces before you can start selling your art. No gatekeepers at all.
Easily transferable: Selling and buying NFT tokens is easy. It only requires one to have internet access, and enough funds in their crypto wallet to purchase or bid an NFT piece.
The most popular NFT artists in 2022
Here is a comprehensive list of top NFT artists of 2022 and what they achieved.
Murat Pak, also known as Pak, is an anonymous digital artist and a programmer who is famously known for selling 266,445 shares of an NFT collection for 91.8 million USD. His style of creation uses minimalist, monochrome, geometric patterns, and code-generated images.
Mike Winkelmann, artistically known as Beeple, is a seasoned creator with over 10 years of experience. His most notable collection is the “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” which was first listed as an NFT in 2020, and has now surpassed 67 million USD in sales. His style of art can be described as comical, satirical, and dystopian.
3. Tyler Hobbs
Tyler Hobbs is a visual artist and a programmer. His most notable NFT art is the “Fideza,” which is a code-generated art using flow field algorithms. It sold for 1000 eth, which was about 3.3 million USD at the time.
Tyler has sold over 1000 copies of NFTs, a single copy going for an average price of 127,000 USD. Some of his other great creations are: “Blue Literal,” “Return Zero,” and “Jacob’s Ladder”. We are hoping to see more of Tyler Hobbs in 2022.
Famously known for the Ringers collection, Dmitri Cherniak is a digital artist and programmer who has been involved in crypto since 2014. His art explores the themes of geometric minimalism.
He has over 860 pieces sold, averaging 96,000 USD per piece. He has managed to sell over 87 million USD in total sales. His new collection is dubbed as “Dead Ringers edition,” with the revenue of sales being donated to charity.
Matt Deslaurier is a generative artist and creative coder from Toronto, Canada. He has sold over 2000 copies, with the piece highest going for 32,636.29 USD. His most recurring theme is the code-generated landscape, known as “Subscapes”.
Xcopy is one of the most accomplished crypto artists in the past 3 years. His creations can easily be identified for their uniqueness, exploring themes of death, dystopia, and apathy through distorted visual loops.
With 1900 copies of his art sold so far, he has made over 50 million USD. We hope to see what he has in store in 2022.
Hackatao is one of the earliest adopters of the NFT movement. The name “Hackatao” was coined from the fusion of two words Hack, meaning “the pleasure of discovery”, and Tao, meaning, “all living”.
The famous Italian duo has made 35 million USD in sales and sold close to 5000 copies of their NFTs. Their art explores humanitarian issues such as environment, art, and also references to the evolution of art.
“Geometry Runners,” “Octo Garden,” “Vertebrae Collection,” and “Procedural Gears” are some of the collection game-marker and NFT artist has worked on.
Rich Lord’s creations are diverse and explore several themes such as science, geometry, and generative art.
Just like other top artists we have seen, Monica Rizzoli creates code-aided generative art. Monica Rizzolli’s “Fragments of an Infinite Field,” a 1024 piece collection, sold out in less than an hour making over 5.38 million USD.
Fewocious started creating art at the age of 13. The now 18-year-old has risen to prominence and made 26 million USD selling 3100 pieces in just under two years.
Some of his most recent collections are “Nice to meet you, I’m Mr. MiSUNDERSTOOD,” “The EverLasting Beautiful,” “Afraid To Be Myself,” and “Year 3, Age 16 – When A Child Feels Lost”.
Previously from a traditional art background for decades, Scotland-based artist Trevor Jones has made his name in the NFT world. Selling over 6000 pieces of NFTs in less than 3 years and making over 20 million USD in sales. His next collection, “EthBoy chapter 2,” was dropped on January 22, 2022.
12. Kjetil Golid
Golid is a generative artist and programmer who experiments with different generative algorithms, such as organic flow fields, particle systems, rigid fractals, and grammar-based shapes.
The artist has open-sourced most of his work to help other artists explore generative art.
Just like we have seen with the previous top-earning artists, generative art is the most recurring NFT art so far, and Shvembldr has not been left behind. After joining the generative artists club, he was able to create his first collection and sell over 2600 pieces. When asked how he wants his art to be perceived, Shvembldr said,
“I’m not sure I want my art to be understood. I want my art to be imaginative and inspiring.”
Snowfro, also the founder of the generative art platform artblocks.io, has also made it to the list of top artists of 2022. He is best known for creating“Chromie Squiggle,” a generative art NFT project, and recently sold 19 of the platform’s pieces in a deal totaling 81,000 USD at a public auction.
Daniel Brito is a versatile generative and audiovisual artist and programmer who is widely known for his NFT collection ‘Pigments’. “Pigments” is a 1024 piece unique collection that has made over 10 million USD in sales to date.
The former major league baseball player joined the NFT craze in February 2022 by launching an NFT collection dubbed as “Aku.” Since he has earned himself millions of dollars and also inspired many people to join the NFT creator movement.
Famously known for “Two Cursors, One File” collection, Piter Pasma is a generative artist and programmer. He is also the lead organizer of #Genuary2022, a generative art month in which artists create daily pieces according to 31 carefully selected prompts.
He has over 1237 pieces sold, for an average of 14,970 USD per piece, and has made 18 million USD so far.
18. Maddog Jones
Michah Dowbak, popularly known by “Maddog Jones,” is a Canadian digital artist, DJ, and keyboardist. Michah started by sharing his art on Instagram before gravitating towards NFT.
His highest-selling piece is the “REPLICATOR (2021),” which sold for 4.1 million USD in a bid. He also collaborated with other top artists including deadmau5 on the “Hypervision” collection.
Zeblock is a team of two talented artists and programmers, Guillaume and Sebastian. The duo has worked on several blockchain projects, one of them being
“Beatboxes,” an NFT project which consists of 841 generated unique rooms, making over 20 million USD.
Whisbe, a seasoned street artist, turned one of his iconic creations, “The Vandal Gummy Bear” mugshot series, into NFTs and made a huge amount of money out of it.
His highest-selling piece, “Not Forgotten, But Gone,” sold for 1 million USD in March last year. The 15-second video features a golden skeleton of a vandal gummy bear holding a prison mugshot plaque.
21. Stefano Contiero
Stefano Contiero is a self-taught generative artist and creative coder, behind the ‘Sentimenti’ series. Before going full-time as an artist, Stefano had years of experience in programming and a rich background in art. He has also admitted that his multicultural upbringing had a huge influence on the type of art he creates.
The recurring themes in his art are identity, sense of belonging, past, the joy of living, and “memento mori”. Through various NFT marketplaces, Stephan has managed to sell 1692 pieces and made well over 12 million in less than 2 years.
22. Loren Bednar
Loren Bednar has been creating generative artwork since 2006. He combines creativity and technical prowess. When he was presented with the opportunity to share his work as an NFT, Loren was able to create several collections on the Artblocks platform. Some of his most notable collections are “Parade,” “Transversal,” and “Phase.”
Joshua Bagley, popularly known as Bagleyvault, is an artist born and raised in New Hampshire, USA. After he fell into a programming rabbit hole in 2020, he has been able to rise through the ranks of NFT art and sell 1373 copies of all his collections, including his best performing collection “Dream.”
Slimesunday is a digital collage artist from Salem, Massachusetts. He continuously pushes the boundaries of what is allowed in mainstream media, delving into censorship through odd and exotic concepts. While his work is frequently removed from social media networks for breaking their terms and conditions, he has built a sizable social following. Slimesunday has risen to become the 6th top paying artist in the space after he began distributing his work as NFTs and selling over 6500 copies.
Slimesunday has also worked with other top NFT artists and is currently the art director of 3LAU. Also, he makes up half of the audio-visual project SSX3LAU a collaboration with 3LAU.
25. Refik Anadol
Refik Anadol is an award-winning media artist and designer who has been creating art for over a decade now. His projects consist of data-driven machine learning algorithms that create abstract, dream-like environments.
Anadol synthesizes data into ethereal data pigments, which are then synthesized into a representational form of fluid-inspired movements.
His best performing NFT collection, “Machine Hallucinations,” is listed on OpenSea with a floor price of 2.55 eth with 821 items sold.
26. Jose Delbo
With over 50 years of experience in comic arts, Jose Deblo has managed to find his way into the NFT scenes and dominated it.
His recent collection, “Enter The Satoshiverse,” a collaboration with his grandson, Deblo depicts the creator of bitcoin Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto as the superhero of the blockchain.
At the age of 87, Deblo has managed to sell 5000 copies from all his collections, proving that anyone can make it as an NFT artist.
27. Hideki Tsukamoto
Hideki Tsukamoto is a procedural and generative artist exploring the use of blockchain as an artistic medium.
Hideki has four collections that are available for purchase on OpenSea, namely “Fusion,” “Cells Interlinked,” “Singularity,” and “Cypher” These collections have collectively sold 800 copies, making 14 million USD.
Josh Katzenmeyer, also known as“Luxpris,” is a multidisciplinary artist and musician that creates fantastical multimedia experiences using technology and code.
Since early 2020, he has been minting NFTs and exhibiting them across North America, Europe, and Asia, alongside digital displays in the global VR realms that connect them all.
He’s drawn to the questions that arise when working with machines. He’s particularly interested in how technology promotes or inhibits human autonomy, as well as how algorithms influence not only the creation, marketing, and monetization of artworks, but also the future of social production and consumption.
29. Aaron Penne
Aaron Penne is an engineer and artist making generative artwork through code since 2018. His collection, “Apparitions,” is currently on OpenSea with a floor price of 1.25 eth with 1500 items sold.
Alexis André, also known as“Mactuitui,” is an NFT Artist currently residing in Japan. For numerous years, he’s been creating generative art with a natural influence. Alexis creates a piece of art every day that he posts on Instagram, minting some of them. He also tries to mint a major piece once a month. He aspired to create, not just something lovely to watch, but also something practical for one of his most recent curated series “720 Minutes”. As a result, he designed the first NFT art clock by combining generative art with a live component: “time.”
Ben Kovach, orBendotk, began creating procedurally generated artwork in 2017. He lives in Burlington, VT. Ben’s art consists mostly of colorful geometric patterns.
Some of his popular creations are “Modular,” “The Spice Extractor,” “Inaudible Pattern,” “The Mass Synaptic Migration,” and “Ediface,” which has a floor price of 2 Eth. He has sold 976 items so far
32. Casey Reas
Casey Reas is an American artist whose conceptual, procedural, and minimalist works look at issues through the prism of software today. Reas is most recognized for co-inventing the Processing programming language with Ben Fry.
His latest collection “CENTURY,” is going for an average of 4,600 USD on OpenSea. There are 565 “CENTURY” by Casey Reas owners, owning a total supply of 1,000.
Rob Dixon is a game designer, programmer, and writer who specializes in generative art.
He co-created the popular game “WonderMine in Decentraland” as part of the WonderZone team, and has uploaded three generative art projects on ArtBlocks: “Eccentrics,” “Inspirals,” and “Eccentrics.”
Justin Blau, alias 3LAU, is a Grammy Award-winning musician and producer known for his chart-topping tunes and distinctive DJ style. 3LAU gained stardom swiftly, singing at sold-out performances all over the world after starting at college fraternity parties. Across Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, and other platforms, he has over 1 billion music streams. His “Ultraviolet” album has received over 300 million streams. Justin is an early cryptocurrency enthusiast who continuously tests the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in the mainstream media. From his NFT releases, 3LAU and his art director Slimesunday have sold over 1.1 million USD in primary sales and generated 3.2 million USD in secondary sales volume. He’s been a vocal proponent of tokenizing music and developing a blockchain-based music investment layer.
Fvckrender is a Vancouver-based, self-taught, creative tech-digital artist. He’s gained popularity from his crisp architectural geometry, sparkling crystalline arrangements, and beaming futuristic landscapes which produce a reflection of human existence. In 2015, he gained attention for his work when he began posting 3D artwork on his social media account every day. His following grew dramatically as a result of these regular posts, and he was thrust into the spotlight. He had a creative database of what appeared to be a futuristic display of hallucinatory pictures in no time. While recovering from a bike accident, Fvckrender developed this distinct and inventive style. “Surrealista,” his debut monograph, brings together his ever-expanding visual diary.
Jeff Davis is an artist who has successfully adapted his unique aesthetic perspective from the physical world and transformed it into NFTs. Jeff’s current art approach (color study) involves the use of computer procedures to generate abstract work. Arizona State University, Lawrence University, Torrance Art Museum, the University of Minnesota, and the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena have all had exhibitions of his work. Over the course of his career, he has sold 2187 artworks for a total value of 3,509.68 ETH. He has also sold 4,820.19 USD on average, with the largest sold being 48,137.44 USD.
Robbie Barrat, who goes by the name “VideoDrome,” has sold 41 NFTs, with the average price being 249,870.52 USD. In fact, Barrat was formerly ranked 10th in the world for all-time NFT sales. However, he’s currently in 37th place. 1,336,187.70 USD has been raised for his AI-Generated Landscape Paintings. VideoDrome’s work is highly sought after, especially since he isn’t currently generating NFTs due to the market’s speculative nature. Nonetheless, he is one of the most talented NFT musicians to have graced the scene.
38. Anna Carreras
Anna Carreras is a digital artist and creative coder located in Spain. She specializes in generative algorithms and interactive technologies. In addition to working directly with code, Anna creates interactive installations to investigate new emergent narratives with an emphasis on audience participation. . She is fascinated by the complexity that arises from little, simple behaviors, and she strives to capture the diversity and richness of complex systems in her art. She generated daily code sketches, which she dubbed “quarantena generativa,” to explore new ideas during the pandemic. Anna has sold 1000 works and amassed a total of 10,129,647.80 USD in artwork value.
39. Matt Kane
Matt Kane is a Chicago-born, gallery-exhibited artist in his early twenties. He took a decade off to work as a web developer in the Pacific Northwest after leaving the art scene. It was there where he learned to program, gained life experience, and made professional decisions centered on developing the work to which he is currently devoted to. Today, an average painting of his contains over a million individual forms, and he spends more than 12 hours of his time making thousands of modifications to hundreds of design variables across his software’s user interface. Matt Kane’s NFT Artwork is presently valued at 10,622,881.77 USD in total.
Jason Ting is an app developer that has created and released a number of apps under the brand JZ Labs. He creates abstract animated graphics, using code to investigate the interaction of shape, color, and motion. Natural forces, geometric patterns, and light all influence his art. Ting is enthralled by natural phenomena, such as the aesthetics of waves and fluid motion, gravitational and magnetic forces, sound vibrations that produce visual patterns, and the way light and color merge during sunsets. On Art Blocks, he recently released his newest artwork, “Bubble Blobby.” He has sold 5,610 works of art, at an average price of 1,762.27 USD per piece. His artwork is presently valued at 9,938,065.83 USD (equivalent to 3,286.039 eth).
Thomas Lin Pedersen is a former bioinformatician/computational biologist, turned data scientist turned software engineer, and now, generative artist. He mainly focuses on exploring the beauty of dynamic systems.
Pedersen creates art using some of the tools he developed. Some of his collections include: “Constructive,” “Folding Flow,” “Yonder,” and “Winds.”
DJ 3LAU (Justin Blau) and graphic artist Slime Sunday form the artistic duo SSX3LAU. Before collaborating as SSX3LAU, the two had a successful solo career as NFT artists. They have accumulated a total of 8,016,803.15 USD in artworks.
Their latest collection “Array” is available for purchase or auction on NFT marketplace niftygateway.
Hideogenart is a creative coder whose products have gained popularity and appreciation in the world of NFTs. Although his presence on the internet is shallow and only includes bits of information, his work is well known. For instance, he is the creator of “Dino Pals,” “Celestial Clones,” and the popular, “Legends of Mataterra.” Hideogenart currently holds the 39th position in NFT rankings and has a total of 9,964,283.35 USD in artwork value.
Michael Kozlowski used to think of himself as a software developer before an artist. Kozlowski committed his technological expertise and unconstrained imagination to augmented-reality experiences built by corporations like Microsoft for the past five years. He was both informed and empowered by his access to cutting-edge technology. Today, Kozlowski’s reality-altering digital art draws on this history, as he plays with computational photography, stereoscopy, lenticular imaging, and holographic technology, all while incorporating his personal sense of surprise and joy. He has sold 921 works of art and has a total of 9,027,660.86 USD in his collection.
Seda Turec is a multifaceted artist with a lifetime of trying out different forms of art. Seda then joined the NFT space in 2019 and prides herself as an OG crypto artist. Since then, she has created NFTs with a value of 135,937.14 USD (44.983 eth) and sold over 100 items.
46. William Tan
William Tan is an Indonesian programmer and a generative artist. “Scribbled Boundaries”, is the latest and most notable collection he has worked on. It is listed on OpenSea with a floor price of 0.76 eth and, over 1000 buyers have already purchased it.
47. RTFKT Studios
RTFKT studio is an organization of creative artists who specialize in creating digital assets and NFTs. “CloneX” was their highest selling NFT project of 2021 selling over 800 copies with each averaging at 7,550 USD. RTFKT was acquired by Nike in December 2021.
Qing Han was a celebrated NFT artist and digital illustrator who passed away in December of 2021. Famously known for “crying in a puddle” meme, Qing had also created hundreds of other arts that she shared with her huge social media following on Instagram.
Generative Artworks is a New York-based artist duo that was created in 2020. They gained a following on Instagram for their generative art and released their first NFT project on Art Blocks in February 2021. At NFT.NYC, Generative Artworks talked alongside the founders of Art Blocks, ARTXCODE, and Ty Roberts, the former CTO of Universal Music Group. In Marfa, Texas, their work was shown in the Art Blocks’ Exhibition #0: Genesis display. The Duo has managed to acquire 6,671,463.75 USD in artwork and sold over 2,200 pieces.
Nicolas Daniel, better known as Nicolasdnl, is a long-time digital artist who only discovered NFT last year. His most recent collaboration was with Han. They found out that they are both learning to play the piano and enjoy beautiful tunes. That’s why they set out to make some computer-generated music! If you click anywhere on any of the “algorithms” artwork, a tune will be created and several perspectives will be presented. Nicolasdnl has sold 1017 works of art and amassed a total value of 7,643,219.30 USD
Pxlq uses algorithmic procedures to generate abstract work in his current art career. He creates proprietary software in the Processing computer language that generates compositional components like size, amount, color, positioning, and grid density at random within certain parameters. Through calculation and iteration, he investigates geometric structure and color arrangement. The Torrance Art Museum, the University of Minnesota, the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Tucson Museum of Art have all hosted Pxlq exhibitions. He also serves on the board of directors for Friends of the Tempe Center for the Arts and as an Arts and Culture commissioner for the city of Tempe. Currently, the artist owns 7,671,463.75 USD in artwork and has sold more than 1895 pieces.
The Digital Collectibles Agency (DCA) is a company that specializes in bringing intellectual property and entertainment franchises to the NFT market. In this new and rapidly changing market, DCA aids brands in earning income and engaging fans. Other industry giants with which the agency has collaborated include Evolution USA and Curio, an NFT selling platform. The World of Women, a collection of 10,000 unique and diverse women, is one of the agency’s most popular works. The artwork was developed with the goal of enhancing women’s representation and inclusion in the NFT community. The agency has sold over 1300 pieces of artwork with a total value of 6,743,864.53 USD.
53. Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden was a notable whistleblower and former CIA operative who advocated for internet privacy and security. Snowden developed an NFT called “Stay Free” in April 2021, which features an image of his face made from appeals court decision pages related to surveillance and privacy. The NFT was sold for 5.4 million USD. The revenues of the sale were given to a good cause. It’s unclear when Snowden will start working on the NFT projects.
54. New Rafael
Rafal Rozendaal is regarded as one of the founding artists of the NFT movement. He began painting in 2001 and has since devoted the majority of his work to NFT. Rafael has sold over 1250 NFTs and earned over 6 million USD to date.
Gerard Ferrandez is a gifted NFT performer and programmer. His first three art endeavors on art blocks were all released in January/February 2021, just weeks after Chromie Squiggle, earning him a total of 6.6 million USD and selling 1576 pieces.
Future industrial motifs coupled with real-time animations and digital art are complicated and likely ahead of their time, according to the artist.
NFTs have proved to be a new frontier in the way we create, own, and share art. Many artists have been able to change and transform their lives through NFT.
In this blog, we have explored the top NFT artists of 2021 and the most promising NFT artists in 2022.
What NFT projects are involved with? Do you think 2022 will be the year of make or break for NFTs?
This blog is a part of Hashnode Web3 where a team of curated writers are bringing out new resources to help you discover the universe of Web3. Check us out for more on NFTs, blockchains and the decentralized future. 😁