You might have blinked and missed multi-disciplinary artist Domino among the throngs of party-goers at Rolling Stone’s pre-Super Bowl party. As hundreds of Los Angeles’ most influential traipsed between the event’s star-studded performances, roped-off areas, and red carpets, digital-art darling Domino could be found surveying the non-fungible art adorning the walls of presenting sponsor Coinbase’s, well, base. Sure, iann dior may have been ascending the outdoor stage 100 feet away, but here was a room exhibiting some of the most exciting contributions to the NFT landscape…including Domino’s own.
The allegiance between Rolling Stone and Coinbase served as further evidence of the ‘Crypto Bowl’ — titled such because the Super Bowl’s highly-coveted commercial airtime was practically dominated by first-time advertisers: cryptocurrency companies. Coinbase itself was no exception. Not only did its bouncing QR code promotion subsequently crash the app, but the brand refused to allow a first-time convergence of sport, tech, and entertainment to go by without including NFTs — the newest and decidedly hottest way to diversify one’s investment portfolio.
As such, Domino is among the 12 creators recruited to collaborate on an exclusive piece available to the party’s Coinbase Wallet users. This kind of release represents exclusive access to the NFT big leagues, or for long-time collectors, the opportunity to obtain another piece of history. But for Domino, a musician, magician, and artist, who sold his first NFT in 2021, the marketplace is so much more than a cash grab.
“A lot of people still see a chance to get rich quick, but for me, it’s always been about community,” he explains. “While I trained in so many different crafts; performance, design, film, which all taught me a lot, I owe my momentum in NFTs to community events like Twitch streams and building relationships with other artists.”
Domino sold 20-25 NFTs in the first two months, the first for one ETH (approx US $3,000, which takes 96 days to mine), the second for two, and so forth. He would go on to generate $120k in sales and over 3 million interactions for his musical project, Presessence, Vol. 1, in three weeks. He acknowledges his stratospheric growth within his artwork for the Coinbase collaboration: a series of self-portraits representing his journey.
“It’s been interesting to watch because it went from digital art being a joke to selling at Chrysties [for] $60 million dollars. I feel like the next step is music — how will the Grammys recognize this kind of movement?”
Surrounding Domino in the Coinbase camp are the submissions of his peers. There’s KidEight, a graphic designer and animator whose cherub creation EVOL sells out within minutes for tens of thousands. In this instance, a menacing EVOL is a Rolling Stone cover star, decked in his signature ski mask and Cuban link chain. KidEight reflected on his contribution to the collaborative NFT saying, “I try to bring a level of humour to my work. When I got approached to be apart of the collaboration it was a no brainer that EVOL should get his own Rolling Stone cover. It is a bit tongue in cheek but also a manifestation of what I believe this characters potential is culturally.”
There’s also Emmy Award-winning motion graphic artist Emonee LaRussa, who counts the likes of Kanye West and Lil Nas X as collaborators, with a mind-bending holographic. Famed surrealist Jeff Manning continues his exploration of Afrofuturism with a gilded harp, while industry darling and Apple-favorite Elise Swopes abstractly reimagines a cityscape.
In full color-blocked glory is a stand-out piece from Boss Beauties. Unlike the other offerings, Boss Beauties is helmed by a wife-husband duo, who work in conjunction with an artist to characterize female empowerment. Co-founded by Lisa Mayer to benefit My Social Canvas, her non-profit that equips young women with mentorship and scholarships, the Boss Beauties collection features female role models throughout history alongside women simply living their truth. For Rolling Stone x Coinbase, they conceptualized a “rock’n’roll queen” — complete with a WAGMI pin (an acronymic rallying cry for the crypto community that stands for ‘We are all gonna make it”). Co-founder Anthony Furlong hopes Boss Beauties is only the beginning when it comes to mission-oriented NFTs.
“A lot of these projects will give back to charity off their initial mint, but it’s not really built into what they do — whereas that’s where we come from,” he explains. “We want people to sell the Boss Beauties and pay off their student loans.”
“It’s still all about the original mission, but we want to build it out on a global scale,” adds Lisa Mayer. “We want to empower women all over the world to be everything they want to be.”
The collaborative NFT will be animated and re-released on Coinbase’s NFT marketplace soon. The contributors are excited for their availability to the public and the evolution of NFT blockchain Ethereum, which they believe will soon adopt a more eco-friendly ‘proof of stake’ system that is more circulatory, requiring less electricity. As for what’s next for non-fungible tokens, they, like many of us, can’t really speak to what’s in store. But for now, they’re just happy to be in the room.