The amalgamation of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Ethereum (Eth) Blockchain is bound by a ladder of similarities. Samo, a graffiti duo of Basquiat and Al Diaz, are well known for their enigmatic epigrams, instantly recognisable by their signature ‘E’ - three unbounded horizontal lines. Those familiar with Eth will know that the currency Ether has an eerily similar symbol which is depicted in the centre of our garment design.
The explosion of NFT's on the Eth blockchain has revolutionised art. Like Graffiti in the 80s, traditional artists have been known to look down on NFT's claiming it to be a "failure of imagination". However, the NFT avant garde continue to kickdown backdoors reminding us of Basquiats transition from Samo to Neo-expressionism,"the new wild ones" bringing energy and a buzz to the art world.
The punk era has played an integral part for both. Crypto was born out of the Cypherpunk movement - the use of cryptography and privacy enhancing technologies as a route to social and political change. Samo's postcards were heavily influenced by the punk genre and in Basquiat's later career he often used his drawings specifically to raise awareness of current socio-political issues. His painting Irony of Negro Policeman aptly demonstrates this and with Kanye's recent outburst and whether Policemen have taken on new forms.
We find it interesting that two cultural watershed moments in art are depicted through three unbounded lines; Samo formed the foundation for Basqiat whilst Eth forms the foundation for NFT's. Most people involved in this space know art is only the begining of the change NFT's will inevitably bring.
The list of similarities is almost endless, but we won't bore you as we're sure you catch the drift. However, to encapsulate our design and further illustrate its coalescent nature, we'd like to leave you with this:
In 2002 Alfred Martinez was busted by the FBI for attempting to sell two Basquiat drawings for $85,000. He later confessed to selling fake Basquiat drawings for the past eighteen years!
Would this happen with NFT's? Or genuine paintings attached to a blockchain? We’ll let you answer that. How about Basquiat's first painting that he sold for $200? Today a few of his paintings have fetched north of $100m. We’re sure his estate would have preferred to attach a digital representation incorporating royalties. FYI - California is the only state in the US which practice resale royalty rights.
ApingX believe royalties present the best use case for NFT's which is why we've incorporated royalties to all our designs ensuring upcoming artists get what's due.