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Crypto Culture: The Italian Connection

Crypto Culture

The Italian Connection


Michele Colonna 54 min ago


Hello Friends, Well, so much for picking up the pace. Everything is moving at breakneck speed in crypto land and keeping up with drops and news in general has become quite the challenge. That’s how good it is around these parts. But, yes, still committed to picking up the pace on coverage of this crazy, new world. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the digital art movement and specifically the hot spots of crypto culture around the globe and have come to realize that my home country has become one of the most consequential and dynamic of scenes in the crypto world. There is an entire eco-system rising from the ground up that includes established and emerging artists, collectors, media players, virtual gallerists and educators. This is extremely refreshing as the news from Italy is not always of the auspicious kind. While brain drain is a real threat to the future of the country, it is encouraging to see the country at the forefront of the push for the Metaverse. I stumbled upon the scene very early this summer with the Genova-based auction house Cambi and its first show of its kind: Dystopian Visions, in partnership with SuperRare and curated by Serena Tabacchi of MOCDA with coordination by Bruno Petzalis. The show was a huge success and it brought to my attention the broad spectrum of Italy’s top digital talent. Artists like: Giovanni Motta, Matteo Cuttini, Nicola Scognamiglio, Annibale Siconolfi, Paola Pinna etc. All artists in their prime, producing some of the most culturally relevant work of our time, capturing the human condition as it grapples with what it means to be human in the digital age. Since then I’ve made important connections with the community and I’m proud to be able to witness the unfolding of what will be considered in the future as one of the most significant and defining historical and cultural period of our time. Here are some of the up and coming artists which I feel are still approachable and still provide a great entry-point before they blow-up. These are works that should find their way in the collections of any serious collector. William Daloiso Pictured here, Criminal Cranes and Il Quarto Stato (The Fourth State) are two of my favorites. Criminal Cranes is actually a series of 3 works available on Showtime and The Fourth State a reinterpretation and digital adaptation of the iconic Volpedo painting depicting laborers on strike crossing the line was recently sold on Foundation. You can follow William on Twitter @VeryWilliam3


Mattia Pannoni In my opinion, Mattia is one of the most talented artists working today. I find his approach academic in preparation and visionary in execution. There’s an incredible amount of research and exploration of materials that go into the making of his final work. I find this to be true with a lot of Italian artists. perhaps it’s the heavy-handedness of the humanities in the educational system’ core programs that shapes such approach. In Mattia’s case, I feel it’s the need to provide context and historical perspective to humanity’s march forward towards the future. Mattia’s work, in my opinion is preoccupied with the recurring theme of the duality of human consciousness and the conflict that such duality generates as in caos and order, day and night, good and evil and so on. Mattia’s work has actually moved very fast. Last time I checked on Foundation it was all sold out. I also noticed that his latest work was picked up by one of the most influential NFT collectors out there, @vincentvandough Which means game over!!! I’d keep a close eye on his next drops as he’s destined fro greatness. Pictured here are: Ether and Cosmic Egg III which comes with a 2.8kg physical counterpart in crystal and bloodstone. You can follow Mattia on Instagram @mattewlapo


Just heard from the folks at DaosNFT, a Rome and Moscow-based virtual gallery, about Ivano Facchetti’s drop on Foundation: Batman ELYXir. Facchetti’s work is filled with pop culture references with a certain rawness that demands attention from the get-go. I wasn’t familiar with his work but connected pretty viscerally upon reviewing his portfolio. There’s a certain element of humility and respect in his work with nods to pop culture icons yet the work is distinctively his, in a similar fashion as Kaws or Basquiat was ultimately theirs despite the influence. This I believe is Ivano’s maiden drop on Foundation. There is a physical companion piece to his NFT which is pretty awesome. The sale is set up as an auction with a reserve price of 2.4 ETH.


Though I typically not focus on art review but more on market commentary, I felt this post lent itself more to a curatorial approach than usual. Also, for those in the know, there are some big names missing form this post, artists like: Federico Clapis, Dangiuz, Skygolpe, Mattia Cuttini, Giovanni Motta etc. The reason for that is that I wanted to highlight the less established and will most definitely at some point do a post on the above mentioned artists. Alla Prossima, Michele

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