Jack Butcher, the artist behind Checks—the hugely successful open edition NFT collection that made waves earlier this year—has announced a prominent new twist on the project: a generative art collection featuring both physical and digital components that will be displayed and auctioned at Christie’s later this week.
The newly announced collection, Checks Elements, is a riff on Butcher’s earlier Checks project. That first series incorporated designs based on the Twitter verification symbol, and featured the tagline, “This artwork may or may not be notable.”
It arrived in the wake of Twitter owner Elon Musk’s decision to reserve checkmarks—once coveted as a mark of prominence and distributed to socially prominent Twitter users for free—only for paying customers.
Checks Elements elaborates on that concept by incorporating the motifs of earth, fire, water, and air into 152 generative art pieces that also feature Twitter checkmarks. Each piece in the series will come with an NFT, designed by Butcher, as well as a matching hand-finished 30” x 42” monoprint of the same design constructed by master printmaker Jean Milant.
Those 152 pieces are divided into six tiers devised by the artist, each featuring a different level of rarity. The first tier of the collection, “Alpha,” includes four pieces, one for each element. Three of those Alpha Elements—Earth, Air, and Water—will go on auction tomorrow at Christie’s New York.
The 149 other pieces in the collection, including Alpha Element Fire, will go on sale via online auction on May 24. A portion of the auction proceeds will be donated to St. Jude’s Research Hospital.
As with Butcher’s original Checks project, Checks Elements will also feature gamified elements that benefit collectors who have purchased previous works from Butcher and his creative agency, Visualize Value.
Owners of Checks, or of Opepen and VV 1/1’s—two other Visualize Value projects—will receive specialized “Infinity Check” NFTs for each Checks Elements auction tier they participate in. It is unclear as of yet what the future utility of that series might be.
That model, though—of NFTs begetting more NFTs, and each new work promising to unlock even more utility and access at an unspecified date—was key to the success of Checks in February.
That project was open edition, meaning an unlimited number of NFTs could be minted during a certain timeframe. Recently, open edition NFT projects have leaned into gamified collection mechanics to encourage users to scoop up as many as possible in the name of unlocking future perks.
Checks NFTs originally minted for around $8 in January, then skyrocketed to a price of over $4,000 in ETH. One NFT sold for 52 ETH, or about $84,000 worth in early February, and collectively the project has yielded nearly $55 million to date worth of trading volume.
Since then, Butcher has allowed holders to trade in multiple editions for rarer renditions. The original editions have since settled to a floor price of 0.37 ETH, or about $670 at writing.
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