Generative artist William Mapan’s latest collection, titled “Distance,” experienced a remarkable feat by selling out within 24 hours despite being released during a weak NFT market. Mapan has gained a reputation for his unique ability to captivate collectors with his generative art, from his early series “Dragons” on the Tezos blockchain to his highly sought-after “Anticyclone” collection on ArtBlocks, which commands a floor price of 5 ETH. However, the concept of generative art remains misunderstood by many in the public.
To explain the genre in a simplified way, Mapan uses the analogy of a piece of paper, a crayon, and a die. He asks people to imagine drawing a grid of four boxes on a piece of paper and then throwing the die. If the roll is three or below, they draw a square, and if it’s four or above, they draw a circle. This simple exercise illustrates the creation of an algorithm and the introduction of randomness, which are the core principles of generative art. The artist’s goal is to control the space within these rules and evoke emotions and curiosity in viewers.
Mapan’s artwork blurs the lines between physical and digital creation, a technique shared by other artists like Tyler Hobbs and Emily Xiu. He aims to activate the senses, feelings, and memories of his audience, sparking curiosity and triggering personal connections. His recent series, “Distance,” specifically aims to transport viewers to different landscapes and evoke travel memories. Mapan draws inspiration from the abstract expressionism movement and artists who push boundaries in modern-day art.
Based in France, Mapan credits artist Matt Deslauriers, known for his projects Meridians and Subscapes, for introducing him to blockchain art. Mapan’s first NFT was minted on the Tezos blockchain in March 2021 before he launched his highly successful “Anticyclone” collection on Ethereum’s ArtBlocks platform in April 2022. He appreciates the concept of putting an algorithm on the blockchain, allowing collectors to trigger the algorithm and buy an iteration of the artwork.
Notable sales of Mapan’s artwork include “Anticyclone #470” selling for 182 ETH ($229,856), “Anticyclone #743” selling for 37 ETH ($50,430), and “Strands of Solitude #253” selling for 16 ETH ($26,321).
In a rapid-fire Q&A session, Mapan mentions up-and-coming artist Anna Lucia as someone to watch. He also mentions the abstract expressionism movement and artists pushing boundaries as influences on his art career. Mapan identifies AC, a collector who engages with him and seeks to understand the practice behind the artwork, as one of his notable collectors. He admires the collaboration “Horizon(te)s #5” by Iskra Velitchkova and Zach Lieberman as his favorite NFT that he doesn’t own. Mapan listens to Kendrick Lamar and Sofiane Pamart when creating art, finding inspiration in performers who express their emotions.
In the NFT art market, Mapan’s “Distance” collection, a collaboration with Cactoid Labs and LACMA, sold out its 250-piece collection with a 2 ETH mint price per piece. The collection has generated close to 185 ETH in secondary sales volume. Other recent notable digital art sales include Dmitri Cherniak’s “Ringers #343” selling for 39.99 ETH ($65,395), Matt Kane’s “Door VII” selling for 22.5 ETH ($36,787), and Snowfro’s “Chromie Squiggle #1606” selling for 20 ETH ($32,877).
In a significant development, Cool Cats, an NFT collection, will be featured in the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Cool Cats won a contest that featured various NFT collections, including SupDucks, Boss Beauties, and VeeFriends, becoming the first NFT collection to be showcased in the parade. A Blue Cat balloon will float above Manhattan on November 23.
The Nouns DAO fork has concluded with 472 Nouns NFT holders out of 844 opting into the fork. Those who opted in will have the opportunity to receive around 35 ETH back, while those who voted against the proposal will continue with the original structure, where one Noun per day is auctioned to fund the Nouns treasury.
In a tweet of the week, Greg Oakford, co-founder of NFT Fest Australia, shares engaging reads in the blockchain space and highlights his background and interest in NFTs.