In brief

  • Crypto-themed artworks by Beeple, Robert Alice, and more will be part of a Chinese art exhibit set for next month, according to a release.
  • The physical exhibit of digital art will be put on by a crypto art company called Block Create Art.

In December, digital artist Beeple sold a collection of pieces and accompanying NFTs for around $3.5 million. Now, a crypto art group in Beijing says it plans to put those works on physical display.

The planned show, from a crypto art marketplace called Block Create Art (BCA) will be called “Virtual Niche: Have You Ever Seen Memes in the Mirror?” Sun Bohan, the company’s CEO, curated the exhibition, according to a press release.

Crypto art is typically associated with NFTs (non-fungible tokens): cryptographically secured assets on the Ethereum blockchain. They can take any form (videos, images, multi-layered interactive animations) and are a convenient medium for digital art, since ownership is easy to prove.

The NFT market has blown up in recent months. In 2020, it was valued at around $100 million. Just two months deep into 2021, and that figured has ballooned to $250 million, according to a report from Nonfungible.com. And February is set to be the biggest month yet for NFT art sales, per data from Dune Analytics.

But while the "Virtual Niche" exhibit in Beijing will be centered around the idea of "crypto art," this show will feature physical artworks.

Other featured artists at the show include Robert Alice—the pseudonym of Ben Gentilli—whose Bitcoin-themed Block 21 was the first NFT sold at Christie’s, as well as Refik Anadol and the DJ Deadmau5. 

According to the BCA release, the show the will mark Beeple and Alice’s debut exhibit in China.

Also making an appearance, BCA says: an artist called Alotta Money, who deals primarily in NFTs.

The show is being funded by Kusama Network, an offshoot of the Polkadot network, and the Chinese Bitcoin mining company Bitmain; it’s set to run from March 26 to April 4.