New year, new trend.
A little over a month into 2023 and we have already experienced a pivot in the digital art market. Open Editions (OEs), a once uncommon drop mechanic many artists shied away from, has now gone viral post Manifold’s latest burn capabilities.
From Nessgraphic’s record breaking $2.2 million sale, to Vincent Van Dough’s Checks – Pepe Edition, we have seen this trend takeover our Twitter feeds and inspire many to jump on the OE bandwagon.
Including NYC based collector, curator and founder of The Crypt Gallery, King of Midtown.
For those unaware, King of Midtown is a highly respected collector based in New York City. He has quickly gained a reputation in the art world due to his unique Twitter personality and his vocal support of the digital art community. With a passion for bringing the digital marketplace to life, King recently founded The Crypt Gallery, an exhibition space that aims to educate the public and encourage greater participation in collecting digital art. He has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Forbes, Haute Living, KTLA, and Business Insider. King views artists as the “new celebrities” and continues to support them as they create groundbreaking work. The launch of The Crypt Gallery in Dream Hollywood and a showcase at Christie’s have helped establish King as a key figure in the digital art world, and the recent launch in Dream Downtown has further cemented his position.
He has become a bold and unapologetic figure in the art world. He is not afraid to speak his mind and call out bad actors in the industry, providing authentic and heartfelt views of the NFT space. He is a vocal advocate for the digital art community, and his expertise and passion for the subject make him a valuable resource for those seeking to understand the opportunities and challenges of the NFT space. In addition to launching The Crypt Gallery, King is dedicated to moving the NFT space forward and addressing the issues that are holding it back. His straightforward approach and commitment to creating a more equitable and thriving digital art world have made him a respected voice in the community.
A Message to the Community
Later this morning, the King of Midtown has a scheduled spaces, you can set a reminder here. This will be a deeper dive into something brewing. Earlier this week, King released a tweet and link to his own Open Edition called A Letter from the King, part 1. Unlike the usual artwork we see KOM curate, this piece took a different approach. Placing emphasis solely on the message he had to deliver, King released an image of his pfp with the following text overlayed:
“gm. Two notorious letters we see circulating daily in this space. But what happens when it no longer feels like a good morning?
Always gm. Because the digital market we created never sleeps. The demand to always be active, regardless of weekends, holidays or personal matters, consumes us, isolates us from our ordinary lives and wrecks havoc on our mental health.
Stress. Anxiety. Depression. Anger. Frustration. Overwhelm. Loneliness. Confusion. Self Doubt. Insecurity. Panic. Hopeless. Lost. Discouraged. Defeated.
Devoting your all, but watching as the space rewards and praises the wrong characters. Mesmerized by online personas, but not digging beyond the surface, we allowed our support to be bought, our attention captivated and swept up in the hype, with none remaining for those that deserve and need it most. And as the noise settles, we look around and notice less of us remain standing.
This is a message for the community. To survive, we need acknowledgement and support for the right individuals. Skillful creators that bring value, vision, high level execution, genuine intentions and contribute time to building a real impact. Pick your leaders wisely, before there are none left standing.
gm everyone. It’s time to wake up.”
Adding to the ambiguity, the description states: Focused on speaking my truth and sharing art that depicts it. This message is key in unlocking what may not be apparent upon first glance.
Although open for interpretation, many were left wondering exactly what King meant by this and what, if any, purpose the letter would serve in terms of additional access or utility.
Real Talk with King
Seeing certain trends and movement within the community have definitely caught King’s eye. And with the latest OE craze, he wanted to break the silence.
“I just found it crazy… OEs were hot a long time ago, but died down. Then suddenly we see another massive OE boom. The technology has been around, so why this reaction? I’m also curious why some individuals got certain results and, honestly, confused at how the community is quick to support certain others here.”
As a builder in this industry, King has experienced and taken a behind the scenes look into many projects, communities, artists, marketplaces and collectors here. And one message he continues to reiterate is the importance of realizing who “the right individuals here are and looking outside of their wallets” especially as those that contribute their time, energy and creativity will be the ones to drive this industry forward. He warns that if we continue to overlook those that deserve and need the support most, there will no longer be any of those individuals left. In his words…
“Especially at a time where we have all seen unexplainable behavior and bad characters take advantage, I think it’s important we wake up and begin having a conversation, before it’s too late.”
Inspired by a recent interview of Matt Medved discussing mental health and negative amplifications the NFT industry can have, along with his current situation and struggles on the personal side of things, King also wanted to open up and bring awareness to the toxic aspects of this industry. Referencing the non stop pace and constant demand for engagement, these unrealistic standards have consumed many lives and violate any previous personal boundaries.
What Comes Next?
For all those wondering what King meant in his cryptic description, we are summarizing below.
- Originally, the OE was going to be released as an artwork, but upon realizing that both the message and art are equally important to emphasize, King decided to release this letter as part 1.
- Part 1 because this is an ongoing collection. Holders will be airdropped more letters in the future with messages from King.
- Like the description states, these letters are keys. They unlock exclusive access to artwork that embodies the message shared by King in his letter.
Implementing a different approach to OEs, King not only reacts to current trends, but also uses NFTs to eternally document our history and delivers a timeless message the community can always turn to.