One Year in NFT — Crypto Leos
“It can send you mad”
On April 1st 2021 artist David Gersch took to OpenSea and uploaded a meme that little did he know would change his life forever.
This meme was non other than the infamous Leonardo DiCaprio meme from Django Unchained, you know the one, the smug laughing Leo holding a drink.
The timing of this came swiftly after the great artist Beeple sold his ‘the First 5000 Days’ NFT at art auction house Christies for a whooping $69.3 million which kickstarted the legendary summer of JPEGS of 2021.
CryptoLeos goal was to mint 1000 NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain using OpenSea, the NFT marketplace, that would mimic pop culture references such as other famous memes celebrated on the internet, memes within memes.
Despite the popular method of using computer code to auto generate a selection of assets to create 1000 different images, I opted for the much painstakingly harder task of creating each CryptoLeos by hand on photoshop with a mouse. To achieve each CryptoLeo having a distinct individuality to them and pop culture reference. However what I didn’t realise is the length of time this would take, completing the task exactly one year later, 1st April 2022.
The irony of CryptoLeos is that it’s a satirical take on NFT and Web 3.0, the collection itself is a piece of performance art expressed by David Gersch throughout that included live streams, meme derivatives, references to other NFT pfp projects and jibes at other popular NFT collections, most famously Crypto Punks.
The collection all along created a narrative that it will go onto flip Crypto Punks, the most valued pixel art NFT collection, as CryptoLeos pixelated art style was chosen to contend with punks. Elon Musk says fate loves irony, therefore the prophecy of CryptoLeos could some day become a reality and when that day comes what better meme to use than the internets favourite Leonardo DiCaprio looking smug.
A year of creating the same image again and again but slightly different is an artistic challenge that no doubt sends you mad. Keeping up with the global time zone of the 24hour NFT market and running a community also comes with its challenges that without the right balance can cause burn out, I think everyone in NFT has experienced this once in the past year at one time or the other.
The collection sold out on Wednesday 20th April 2022 aka 4/20 the memest of meme dates in the calendar year, call that irony, more like fate! The prophecy still stands CryptoLeos bigger than CryptoPunks, 42069 CryptoLeo!
The next chapter for CryptoLeos is well underway, The Multiverse of Leo, a 1000 collaborative NFT collection featuring 1000 different artists within NFT. A truly unique conquest that redesigns each CryptoLeo into a new artistic style. This collection is available to claim for CryptoLeo holders and is aiming to be completed by December 2022.
The future for CryptoLeos is to continue to parody NFT, therefore the Leoverse is under construction, a fully playable metaverse inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio movies, party at Gatsby Mansion, delve into the Dream World, lose yourself on Shutter Island and make it big on Wall Street.
CryptoLeo is heading to NFT NYC 2022 in June followed by a Las Vegas meetup early July, to attend get yourself a CryptoLeo and join the Leoverse today.
Buy CryptoLeo NFT on OpenSea
By David Gersch