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Multichain NFT protocol Holograph dropped its latest collaboration on Tuesday, combining a recognizable, “blue chip” NFT with one of history’s most iconic memes.
Titled “KilroyPunk,” the collectible is a riff on CryptoPunk #8527, owned by pseudonymous Delegate Cash creator and Crypto Twitter personality foobar, who has long used the NFT as his profile picture. It combines foobar’s famed NFT with the work of Eric Elms, showcasing the California-based artist’s take on Kilroy.
The collaboration comes as Holograph tries to find a foothold in the NFT space, and it marks the multichain protocol's third offering through its consumer-facing application. Released as part of an open-edition mint—meaning the collectible can be claimed an unlimited number of times—it costs $15 and is available for 48 hours.
“It's a nice remix on top of the classic Punk,” foobar told Decrypt, noting that CryptoPunk 8537 has played an essential role in fostering brand recognition over time. Foobar boasts some 133,000 followers on Twitter.
Dating back to the 1940s, “Kilroy Was Here” emerged as an American symbol on battlefields in Europe and the Pacific, often in the form of graffiti. And having created cultural commentary with the character for years, Elm’s foray into the NFT space is imbued with distinct subtext.
“Kilroy has a rich history dating back to World War II and has evolved culturally through different eras,” Elms told Decrypt, saying it parallels CryptoPunks in that the collection embodies “such an OG history in the NFT space, both conceptually and stylistically.”
Elms said his work often centers on printed materials that are transformed through collages to create new meaning. So, as an artist from outside the NFT space, he thought it was important to pay homage to CryptoPunks’ pixelated style, which is inherently digital.
“To me, there is a rich history of NFT native art,” Elms said. “It is important to not only apply the technology but to also have a conversation with the rich visual and conceptual history of the sub-culture.”
Leading up to the NFT launch, the collaboration was teased on the streets of New York City in a way that was inspired by counterculture trends seen in streetwear and skate circles, Holograph CEO and co-founder Jeff Gluck told Decrypt.
Despite Holograph’s focus on culture, Gluck said Holograph is ultimately rooted in tech.
Created by the team at CXIP Labs, Holograph takes a multichain approach toward digital collectibles, allowing users to mint NFTs on their chain of choice or swap them between several networks. As of now, the protocol supports Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, BNB Chain, and Optimism.
NFTs are unique digital tokens that correspond to the ownership of an item, often digital art, and those assets typically exist on a single blockchain—initially, at least.
Recognizable projects like DeGods and Doodles have branched out over time from the chains they were created on, expanding to new networks. Foobar said Holograph is addressing some pain points inherent to this process.
“I've long thought we need a unified user-first experience rather than each project recreating their own cross-chain mechanisms,” foobar said.
Holographic’s previous mint featured the work of artist Jasmine Monsegue, also known as Spacebrat, and her free NFT—which was also the first of her career—was minted over 300,000 times during a 48-hour window. A majority of the NFTs were minted on Polygon, the Ethereum scaling platform.
Gluck said that many people who minted their Holograph NFTs on Polygon were likely trying to avoid high gas fees compared to other networks like Ethereum, which demonstrates one benefit of a multichain approach.
“Having an asset siloed and locked on one singular blockchain makes no sense,” he said. “Consumers and creators are beginning to understand the necessity of a multichain approach.”