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Gucci Vault Art Space’s debut exhibition offers NFT artworks as collectibles
‘Take Time to Smell The Flowers’ by Antoni Tudisco, ‘Gucci Cry Baby’ by Alanna Vanacore and ‘GG Quartet’ by Aliina Kauranne
Image: Courtesy of Gucci

Gucci Vault Art Space’s debut exhibition offers NFT artworks as collectibles

The brand’s first virtual exhibition and auction in collaboration with SuperRare presents the works of 29 international artists in the Vault.

by Almas Sadique
Published on : Jul 06, 2022

The metaverse is an attention grabbing universe, with a potent tendency for accelerated growth. First mentioned by Neal Stephenson in his novel ‘Snow Crash’, the metaverse was introduced as a virtual space designed to serve as an escape from autocratic regimes. Today, almost half a century since the inception of the term, this alternate virtual reality has built on its former definition and can now be viewed as a universe that poses many opportunities for creative and innovative expression. From Artificial Intelligence personalities that can interact like humans to visually stimulating dynamic artworks that remind us of the moving portrait paintings from the halls of Hogwarts, this alternate world has put into motion a culture of experimentation and innovation.

One of the several illustrious brands that has recently initiated a series of collaborative projects to establish its space in this virtual world is Gucci. Having marked a conspicuous presence in the spectra of clothing, accessories, footwear, beauty products, fragrances and home decor, the Italian luxury brand has now begun experimentations in the metaverse. Over the past year, Gucci has collaborated with Superplastic to launch Supergucci NFTs, partnered with 10KTF to create a virtual floating city complete with fashion accessories and fictional characters, bought a plot of digital land in The Sandbox and collaborated with Roblox to launch Gucci Town, an avenue that welcomes users to buy digital goods, connect with other participants and play mini-games. Gucci’s most recent offering is the inauguration of Vault Art Space, the brand’s experimental online space created and curated in partnership with SuperRare, a crypto art marketplace dedicated to creating a network of creatives and collectors. Designed as a virtual gallery and marketplace for unique NFT artworks, Vault Art Space recently announced its debut exhibition The Next 100 Years of Gucci.

Gucci Glitch Frame by Alanna VanacoreImage: Courtesy of Gucci

Serving as the initiation of Vault Art Space’s motto of collecting and displaying creative works that reflect futuristic thought and vision, ‘The Next 100 Years of Gucci’ presents a curated set of NFT artworks, each of which reflects the brand’s flamboyant style. Designed by 29 artists, the pieces will be showcased and auctioned off on the Vault in three drops from June 23 to July 1, 2022, from July 7 to July 15, 2022, and from July 21 to July 29, 2022. The artworks displayed in the first batch include the works of Alanna Vanacore, Aliina Kauranne, An Chen, Antoni Tudisco, Dārta Katrīna, eBoy, Kris Andrew Small and Sasha Katz. Their creations range from human and cartoon portraits to floral prints and patterns, all of which traverse the realm of realism to produce exaggerated forms and expressions which are truly evocative of the brand’s style.

The exhibitions' offerings of a wide range of art created by both traditional and new media artists hint toward the scope of digital spaces expanding to encapsulate diverse kinds of designs. All the NFTs showcased in the exhibition are daubed in multiple colours and characterised by definitive details.

Spring Cry by Alanna VanacoreImage: Courtesy of Gucci

New York based artist Alanna Vanacore’s artworks, namely ‘Gucci Cry Baby’, ‘Spring Cry’ and ‘Gucci Glitch Frame’ are a true marriage of realistic and abstract art. While details such as the eye looking straight ahead through the screen appear to mimic the original effect of a piercing eye, the overall portrait appears to be defined by cartoonish features and elements.

GG Metal Boot by Aliina KauranneImage: Courtesy of Gucci
GG Quartet by Aliina KauranneImage: Courtesy of Gucci

Aliina Kauranne, a Helsinki based digital artist and designer who specialises in 3D and motion graphics and illustrates quirky animate and inanimate characters living in the digital world, created the ‘GG Metal Boot’, ‘GG Glass Boot’ and ‘GG Quartet’ for the exhibition. "Platform boots are inspired by the shiny retrofuturism and the nostalgic lava lamps of the 1990s,” says Kauranne. The ‘GG Quartet’, on the other hand, is a mix of alien characters whose forms are inspired by those of humans and animals.

Flora I by An Chen Image: Courtesy of Gucci
Flora II by An Chen Image: Courtesy of Gucci

Challenging the convention of utilising sentient elements to create a dynamic piece of art, Taiwanese illustrator An Chen created patterned works ‘Flora I’, ‘Flora II’ and ‘Flora III’. Known for using angular shapes and patterns to create dynamic artworks, Chen created an illustration inspired by the classic Gucci pattern. Her final piece reflects the flora pattern growing untethered across time and dimensions.

Take Time to Smell The Flowers by Antoni TudiscoImage: Courtesy of Gucci
Moonlight Romance by Antoni TudiscoImage: Courtesy of Gucci

German visual artist Antoni Tudisco’s NFTs ‘Moonlight Romance’ and ‘Take Time to Smell The Flowers’ comprise a heavily dressed mannequin-like creature prancing across a dreamy land dotted with beautiful flowers and reptiles, and offering extraterrestrial views. In ‘Moonlight Romance’, Tudisco takes advantage of moon’s light and exposes beautiful aspects in his scenography while concealing uglier aspects. “In this generation, where everyone is going digital, you should also take time and appreciate the nature and flowers around you. Be inspired. Feel free and bring that energy into your everyday life,” says Tudisco, referring to his creations.

Behind the Waterfall by Dārta Katrīna Image: Courtesy of Gucci
Early June by Dārta Katrīna Image: Courtesy of Gucci

Dārta Katrīna, an artist based in Latvia, encapsulates her fascination for the bizarre and contradictory world in her three pieces ‘Behind The Waterfall’, ‘Currents’ and ‘Early June’. Bearing a stark resemblance to traditional Chinese paintings, each piece is made out of several elements, some hidden, some exaggeratedly visible. “The inspiration behind these pieces was to not offer a clear association with a certain period of time. My idea was for it to look like a windblown frame stuck in an untraceable second— perhaps as a dreamlike conjunction of Gucci’s past, present, and future, says Katrīna.

Constantly Gucci by Kris Andrew SmallImage: Courtesy of Gucci
Future Heritage by Kris Andrew SmallImage: Courtesy of Gucci

Evocative of the pixelated characters that would run and jump around in some of our favourite video games from the 1990s, eBoy’s ‘Blockbob GG 1’ and ‘Blockbob GG 2’ are whimsical characters who stand erect with stoic expressions. eBoy is an art group based across Berlin and Los Angeles. Their NFTs, with their Gucci belts and animated eyes that stare straight ahead, induce a special kind of nostalgia for old video games and Gucci’s past trends.

Blockbob NFT GG1 by eBoyImage: Courtesy of Gucci

A play on the word ‘Gucci’, using the age old kaleidoscopic effect, ‘Constantly Gucci v1’, ‘Future Heritage v1’ and ‘Future Heritage v2’ by Sydney based artist and designer Kris Andrew Small, use a wide array of colours from the spectrum to create a vibrant and energetic composition that jiggles and dances. A wonderful composition of type, pattern and colour, his pieces translate into loud abstract visuals. "I wanted to create a piece that symbolised the timelessness of the brand and its constant evolution into the future. The work is endless and futuristic, much like the brand, using colour palettes inspired by past Gucci work to energise the future,” the artist shares.

Flora by Sasha Katz Image: Courtesy of Gucci

Athens based 3D artist Sasha Katz’s pieces ‘Flora’ and ‘The Eyes of The Tiger’ are hyper-realistic artworks that capture at once the imperfections and the beauty and sensuality of women. Dressed in silk chiffon blouses inspired by Gucci’s latest collection and bearing the imprints of the brand’s floral pattern on their skin, the mother and daughter in ‘Flora’ are created as examples of a harmonious future. “In 100 years I see the future full of unconditional love, mindfulness, tenderness, and support. This future is about the harmony of humans and nature in the symbiosis between traditions and new approaches,” says Katz.

In welcoming past Gucci collaborators as well as young and upcoming artists to come together and create this series of digital art collection that is reflective of the House’s heritage and vision, the brand continues its legacy of pushing boundaries and upholds its commitment to support and empower the creators of today and tomorrow.

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