The connection between art and crypto has deepened since the arrival of NFTs. While these tokens have multiple uses, artists have found incredible ways to assign ownership and value to the realm of digital art.
BeinCrypto spoke to crypto artist Max Cryptohead about his latest project, the Crypto Hall of Fame. This exhibition space was recently inaugurated at the Miami Crypto Experience. It aims to be a permanent space celebrating legends in crypto.
Painting crypto legends
BeinCrypto (BIC): Why did you create the Crypto Hall of Fame?
Max Cryptohead (MC): Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are some of the most important innovations of our time, and their inventors and pioneers deserve to be celebrated. If rock musicians have their “Hall of Fame,” why not the rock stars of crypto?
BIC: How did it all start?
MC: I began to paint crypto pioneers in early 2020, beginning with Satoshi Nakamoto. I then contacted Aaron Koenig to help me market the paintings, as he is well connected in the crypto world. He is handling the business side for me so that I can focus on my art. I don’t like to speak in public, so he also does that for me.
Aaron then showed me the 3D gallery of the Crypto Art Museum, which was opened in April 2021, and we both liked it a lot. It presents the paintings in a really cool way, which everyone can easily access. So we decided to create this permanent exhibition in a similar way.
Expanding the online art space
BIC: So the Hall of Fame is not a physical place?
MC: Currently, it is online-only, but that fits well, as crypto is mainly an online phenomenon. The paintings are sometimes shown at real-life events, though. We already had exhibitions at the UNCHAIN conference in Frankfurt, at the Bitcoin Embassy in Mexico City, and Blockchain Week Miami.
Recently we have been invited to the re-opening of the Bitcoin Centre in New York City and to the Crypto Art Fair, which will take place in Tulum, Mexico. In the future, we might cooperate with a Bitcoin Embassy somewhere to host a permanent exhibition, but most people will visit it online anyway.
BIC: Which platform do you use for the 3D exhibition?
MC: We are using a 3D gallery by the German company Kunstmatrix. Its big advantage is that you don’t need to download any software or visit some metaverse like Decentraland or CryptoVoxels, which only works with a Web 3.0 Wallet. All you need is a normal web browser to visit the exhibition. It even works on a cellphone.
BIC: Who is your target audience?
MC: The idea behind the Hall of Fame is to focus not on my paintings but on the crypto pioneers portrayed in them. We want to reach people who are not so interested in art but rather in technology and entrepreneurship, which is probably the case for many in the crypto industry.
BIC: Why is the Hall of Fame also called 21 Heads?
MC: Just like Bitcoin is limited to 21 million units, the Crypto Hall of Fame is limited to 21 members who can ever be inducted into it, which makes it an even bigger honor to be selected.
A panel of crypto specialists
BIC: Who selects the pioneers who are inducted into the Hall of Fame?
MC: The first eleven were obvious choices, people like Satoshi Nakamoto and his right hand Hal Finney, as well as the creators of Bitcoin’s predecessors, such as David Chaum, Wei Dai, Adam Back, and Nick Szabo.
I think everyone who knows a bit of crypto history will agree on them. So far, I have made the decisions together with my manager Aaron.
But from now on, we will have a structured and transparent selection process. Everyone can make a suggestion through our website. Then a selection committee of neutral but well-informed crypto experts decides who will be inducted next.
BIC: Who are the members of this committee?
MC: The first members are Olga Filatova, the director of the Crypto Art Museum and a long-term crypto activist from Russia, Eryka Gemma, the co-founder of Miami Crypto Experience, and Ana Alexandre, editor at BeinCrypto.
The other members will be announced soon. The challenge is to find people who know the crypto scene well but would not qualify for being selected themselves, so the committee will rather consist of educators and communicators, not developers or builders.
Joining in on NFTs
BIC: Can the portraits only be seen in the Hall of Fame?
MC: No, they are available as NFTs connected to high-resolution JPEGs, which can be printed out on canvas in a format of 21 by 21 inches.
Each portrait is, of course, limited to 21 copies. Some collectors have already bought the whole series. One has even prepaid and ordered all 21, even the ones which have not been created yet.