An artwork’s provenance is its history of ownership.
Good provenance helps us track that pieces are authentic, rightfully owned, and imbued with unique auras in the case of works that have passed through special hands or made special journeys.
NFTs make determining good provenance easier than ever because NFT activities are recorded transparently onchain, available for anyone to audit at any time. NFTs also make spotting “bad” provenance, like wash trading, straightforward too. Just ask Melania Trump!
Provenance isn’t just about who held what and when, though. Provenance is also fundamentally about stories, because behind any good provenance is a great story.
Here, cue in JPG. As an NFT curation platform, JPG is a thoughtful, streamlined avenue to highlight the stories behind the NFTs in our lives, in our dreams, in our nightmares, etc.
All that said, we’ve been totally impressed by the exhibitions of JPG’s first wave of curators and all the incredible displays of provenance therein; for this post, we’ll highlight a handful of these displays from early JPG exhibitions to celebrate the amazing stories our community has brought forward!
Artnome and Robbie Barrat gifted out 300 cards at Christie’s first-ever Art + Technology summit in 2018. Holders of the cards could redeem them to collect a unique 1-of-300 frame of Barrat’s AI Generated Nude Portrait #7 on SuperRare. However, experts believe most of these cards have since been lost, i.e. the “Lost Robbies.” Frame #166 is one of less than 40 editions that have been redeemed, so its provenance in the cryptoart scene has taken on something of a legendary quality.
Created by 0xmons and Figure31 for JPG’s first Gift Shop event, the SALT collection occupies a special place in the heart of the JPG community. The provenance of SALT 27 is compelling because it was minted by 0xmons and then later transferred to Figure31. Accordingly, the history of this piece is distinguished as it’s now graced both co-creators’ wallets!
Tony Herrera is the co-founder of multiple DAOs and one of the co-creators of Ether Cards (now Galaxis). Yet Tony’s also renowned in the NFT ecosystem for having claimed dozens of iconic CryptoPunks back in June 2017. The ‘Punk above, curated by Gabe Wise in his On Blockchain Aesthetics exhibition, is noted for being Herrera’s signature “green-haired buck-toothed mfer,” which the NFT maestro has held faithfully since he claimed it nearly five years ago.
The infamous DAO Hack was an existential crisis for what was then a very young Ethereum community. The work above, a generative work created as part of Proof of Beauty’s HASH series, is visually created from the details of one of the early DAO Hack transactions. In this way, the piece’s provenance is provocatively and directly linked to the epic attack itself.
Manolo Gamboa Naon, a.k.a. Manoloide, is one of the contemporary legends of generative art. The above piece, which is among his most beloved and recognizable, is held by contemporary art gallery Kate Vass Galerie.
Curated by Gabe Wise, this is the first piece in an exhibit that features an almost complete representation of the cryptoart series of eeedg, now known as EDG. Most of the works featured were sourced from Gabe’s own collection, though the curator politely “borrowed” some pieces from the Museum of Crypto Art’s Colborn!
What about you, what are your favorite NFT provenance anecdotes? At JPG we’ve just released a flurry of new features and are going to open up the platform to the public soon, so we can’t wait to see what stories you have to share! In the meantime, get some ideas by checking out JPG’s first exhibitions and join our motley artistic crew in the JPG Discord ❤️
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