Since 2020, the NFT market based around crypto art has exploded. With NFT artworks selling for up to thousands, even millions at times, it’s clear that NFTs are here to stay.
While it’s hard to tell what the upcoming trends are in the future, here are 5 evergreen crypto art genres that have found great success in the NFT art market.
1. 3D rendered art
If we had to pick one genre as the OG genre for NFTs, it would be 3D rendered art. The success of 3D rendered art in the NFT market was propelled by the famous Mike Winkelman, also known as Beeple, when he made NFT history with his $69 million dollar sale of ‘Everydays—the first 5000 days’.
Appearing in the late 1970s, 3D computer graphics software began appearing for mass use in home computers with its earliest known program being 3D art graphics written by Kazumasa Mitazawa. Released in June 1978 for the Apple II, 3D rendering technology has since expanded into a craft for many artists.
Another notable 3D artist whose work has been sold for large amounts of money is PAK. His identity remains a mystery to his fans but his pieces are no stranger to the NFT market, with an estimated average of $9,354.99 each. His most expensive piece “The pixel” sold for $17million.
2. Illustrative art
Next on our list is illustrative art, one of the oldest genres of art-making, originating from ancient times e.g. the drawings in tombs of Pharaohs 1000 BCE. In more recent times, and with the progress of technology, the medium of illustration has evolved to encompass digital means as one of its ways of expression. With the development of NFTs, it was only natural that its success as a crypto art genre would follow.
One of the top sellers of this genre is Mad Dog Jones, with his top-grossing piece “REPLICATOR” selling for $4.1million.
3. Pixel art
Back in 2011, a pop-tart cat with a rainbow trail flooded the internet back in 2011, and on Feb 19, the meme was sold as an NFT for $550,000. Just last month, pixel art collectible Crytopunk sold to financial giant Visa in a headline-grabbing sale.
The history of pixel art started in the 80s when Adele Goldberg and Robert Flegal of Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre coined the term in 1982. Since then, pixel art has been employed in many ways. The most popular being the use of pixels to generate the aesthetics of video games. From there, it slowly made its way into the mainstream through avenues like music videos. Without the invention of a graphics card, pixel art was a way for developers to create an image using limited graphics and computing resources.
4. AI generative art
AI generative art is a fairly new discipline and genre that emerged in the 2010s, with the development of a class of machine learning called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). It later found popularity within the digital art community due to its disruptive nature as a genre of art. AI generative art or AIA has contributed to the development and ingenuity of use cases for NFTs, most prominently with the Alethea AI project, and later with the creation of platforms like Art Blocks and Fetch.ai.
Read more about AIA and NFTs here: https://editorial.mintable.app/2021/09/21/what-happens-when-ai-meets-nfts/
While photography hasn’t been a medium or genre of art that’s been grabbing headlines for NFT sales, we thought it deserved a place in our list nonetheless. That’s because photography has held its evergreen status not only as an art form but simultaneously as a medium for capturing important moments in time. Modern photography has come a long way since the late 1800s France with daguerrotypes, emulsion, and wet plates, to what it is today, with the development of digital technology, print etc.
One of the highest-priced photographs that have sold as NFTs is “Love Is War” by Aimos Vasquez, to the tune of $125,000.
Which will stay, which will go?
Just enter any NFT marketplace these days and you’ll find that a good number of the artworks for sale are of these genres. From 3D rendered images, illustration, pixel art, AI generative art, and photography, they are NFTs that will likely remain on marketplaces in time to come. The imaginative futurity contained within 3D rendered art is perhaps what appeals to its audiences, intersecting with the nature of crypto and NFTs as future-forward spaces. While Illustration holds power as an incredibly accessible medium and genre – anyone with a pen and paper, iPad, or laptop has the capacity to create and enjoy beautiful works of illustrative art. Pixel art and its block-like aesthetics is capable of turning complicated images into simple, yet consumable visuals. AI has its draw as both a future-forward and disruptive way of art creation that melds both human creativity with technological innovation. And whether it be major moments in history or personal moments in our lives, photography has real practical and emotional value attached to it as a medium, hence making our list of evergreen art genres that have dominated the NFT market.