This Tuesday marked the birthday of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. He is depicted in the non-fungible token (NFT) EthBoy, dressed in a harlequin outfit. The 4th edition of this generative artwork is inspired by Pablo Picasso’s “Paul as Harlequin”.
An edition dedicated to the birthday of Ethereum’s founder
The NFT is part of the ETHEREAL collection, for which Jones has collaborated with musicians Alotta Money and DJ Don Diablo. For the next five years, a new version of Ethboy will be released on the NFT Async Art platform every six months.
The recently released animated version, called TRANSCEND, was produced in association with Grammy award-winning DJ Sasha and will be displayed on Oxford Street in London.
Art that evolves over time
With Async Art, digital artists can produce asynchronous art, which evolves over time and reacts to external data and stimuli. The art evolves daily based on factors such as the price of Ethereum, the cost of gas fees, and other elements. The most recent issue, which was produced in a single copy, honors Buterin’s birthday on 31 January.
In a press release, Jones said the aim of the collection was to weave a story about Buterin’s life. He added that this five-year collaborative initiative would certainly go down in history as a masterpiece and a grail for the 10 collectors and partners involved. Jones also noted that many people in the Web3 world think in terms of months rather than years.
First work of art sold for nearly $150,000
Since the publication of the first volume of the collection, the NFT field has seen a number of changes. These include debilitating market conditions and new trends in digital art. However, Jones says that while the demise of FTX has undoubtedly had an impact, the NFT art space is still alive and kicking.
In 2020, Jones collaborated with artist Alotta Money to produce the first edition of EthBoy. The digital art piece was sold at auction for 260 ETH, which was equivalent to $141,536 at the time.
The artwork shows Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin dressed as a medieval harlequin. Leaning on a velvet chair, he stares intently at the viewer in the distance. The graph implies that Ethereum is on the rise. According to one of the co-creators of the painting, Trevor Jones, this is one of the highest amounts paid in terms of money for a piece of crypto art to date.
Digital artworks can now reflect external data and stimuli. This is thanks to a breakthrough made possible by the blockchain-based art market and the Async Art platform, where EthBoy was published. According to Jones’ website, EthBoy will change daily in response to environmental events beyond anyone’s control.
A work that exists in only one copy
The painting is the first programmable artwork of its kind to be published on Async. The platform was launched in February 2020 and was already selling for over $600,000 when the painting was sold.
The artwork is a 1/1, a word used in the industry to describe a digital work that has a single copy. The value of NFTs is cryptographically derived from rarity. Any digital object presented as an NFT can be protected by the same foundation that ensures that each Bitcoin is unique and cannot be used twice.
The rare painting was acquired by Twitter user Maxstealth in a one-day auction. But the image is more than just a collector’s item as its distinctive qualities continue to earn money for its owner and the artists.
Between July 30, the anniversary of the launch of the Ethereum system, and Vitalik’s birthday on January 31, each animation will span 182 days of changes.
The owner of the EthBoy NFT and the two artists will each receive one-third of the proceeds from the sale of each work. If further programmable development of the original work is required, a “small amount” of the proceeds may be used to fund it.