Amid the greatest crypto crash of the last 2 years, Portugal’s most renowned contemporary artist resisted the NFT bear market with LAYERS: a project by VHILS.
Never one to shy away from difficult subversion, Alexandre Farto aka VHILS has captured the art market for the last two decades. His ambitious works have involved dynamite explosions, bas relief carvings using chisels across urban spaces, and now, dynamic collector interaction with his blockchain-based LAYERS.
With an extensive exhibition history spanning Art Basel HK + Miami, the International Space Station, the Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, V&A Museum, CAFA Art Museum and 40 countries, VHILS is one of the first established blue-chip artists to use blockchain as a compelling new medium.
VHILS’ launch into the crypto art scene began over a year ago with the transformation of his renowned Scratching the Surface series into a series of 10,000 interactive artworks, hosted entirely on chain. Playing on relational aesthetics and game theory, the LAYERS project minted with 3,000 blank canvases, each transforming into 1/1 artworks by collector intervention using custom TEARS (ERC-1155 tokens).
Created in collaboration with gallery-led platform DRP, LAYERS is set to elevate the standard of crypto art - a contemporary sub-movement which has largely been disparaged by the traditional art world for its lack of innovation and repetitive visual style. Yet through thematically and visually engaging with Vhils’ movement into time-based media, LAYERS stands apart in its aim to bridge traditional and web3 art markets, bringing together collectors in a token-based ecosystem centred around a single artist’s practice.
Each LAYER and subsequent TEAR interaction provides collectors with access to physical artworks, video and digital pieces (both on and off chain), and exhibition opportunities. Through engaging token holders as patrons of Vhils’ blue-chip career, the project looks to hybridise Vhils’ unique medium-based processes and the potential of blockchain integration in the development of a new collector community.