WEB 1.0 Aesthetics and History of Art

Curator’s choice

Anthropologically, the crypto world mostly consists of people who were culturally formed in the WEB 1.0 era (1990s). Therefore, MS DOS and Windows 3.11 aesthetics is present in visual elements of blockchain projects. At the same time, the high speed of the crypto world does not require long and detailed development of interface graphics. Thus, these two factors together gave a new impulse to this aesthetic. Being born within blockchain communities, NFT market has not been able to ignore this aesthetics, leading to numerous collections and drops actively using pixel art. This selection brings together not only works created in this nostalgic manner, but also those digital works that reference various iconic images and classical subjects from the art history. The Web 3 world only starts to understand that any image claiming any cultural significance cannot exist outside art history context.

Big Comic

The $100$ Million Ether Skull
The $100$ Million Ether Skull by Big Comic

There is relatively little known about the artist behind the pseudonym Big Comic. His personal website is ironically designed, referencing graphic design of early 90's web pages with overlapping links and blinking banners, and somehow working advertising gifs. The new artistic situation created by the rapid development of the crypto world cannot develop completely in parallel with the traditional art world. History of imaginary and aesthetics has a strong influence on young and not so young artists in the Web 3 space. In this regard, crypto artists tend to quote the most recognizable images from art history: from Rembrandt and Da Vinci to Andy Warhol and beyond into the future.

Quoting and reinterpreting the legacy of the great masters is typical for oeuvres of Big Comic. Particularly notable is a series of works made in rougelike (?) aesthetics that are graphically assembled from letters and symbols. Damien Hirst's phrase For The Love of God looks particularly ironic here. In the $100$ Million Ether Skull artist obviously reduces the pathos of the original work (made of platinum and encrusted with diamonds) by using the "cheapest" graphic elements: stars, dogs, hashtags, and others.

Big Comic

The Ether Rembrandt (with a Rose Bouquet)
The Ether Rembrandt (with a Rose Bouquet) by Big Comic

In The Ether Rembrandt (with a Rose Bouquet) Big Comic is not really quoting famous original, but rather draws attention to another scandalous case of artwork attribution. Portrait of a Young Gentleman was previously attributed to Rembrandt's “circle” (?) but was soon resold at a much higher price as Rembrandt’s painting. Probably Big Comic saw in this art market case a congenial rhyme of the dizzying financial success of NFT in the crypto world.


The Disasters of War
The Disasters of War by Entter

Raúl Entter is an artist, animation specialist, and game producer. He is the organizer of one of the most prominent Spanish NFT platforms - NFT Barcelona. This platform created a strong community in the region and organized a series of exhibitions.

“The Disasters of War” is clearly referring to Francisco Goya's famous series of 82 etchings “The Disasters of War”, where Goya depicted the terrifying scenes of the anti-French uprising of May 2nd. Entter offers his somewhat naive interpretation of Goya's legacy, but in its own brave way. As the world of Web 3 is just beginning to realize that any image that claims to have any cultural significance cannot exist outside art history context.

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Catherine wheels

A pixeled interpretation of one of the iconic Christian motifs “Catherine's Wheel” (presented by many artists from Taddeo Crivelli to Caravaggio) is a slightly naive attempt to put the timeless story into a new context. Aesthetically these attempts can resonate in the hearts of gamers, who might see in this set of pixels references to classic fantasy games of the mid-1990s, such as Heroes 2 or Warhammer Shadow of the Horned Rat.

Naime Pakniyat

Music Room

Naime Pakniyat has her educational background in graphic design and computer graphics (she studied in Iran). Her work has already been exhibited all over the world: USA, Palestine, Chile, Canada. Using classical pixel art aesthetics, Pakniyat masterfully translates Iranian miniature into Web 3 space, skillfully combining animated images with music.

“Music Room” is a classic scene, depicting men in a palace room listening to musicians. The image slowly moves to the beat of a light, unobtrusive musical composition.

Naime Pakniyat


In “Rendevouz” a different plot is presented – probably we can see here a showdown. The grooms from all over the world came to win the heart of the beautiful princess. They came officially dressed and brought the gifts.


Greater America Zero-Shannon, G
Greater America Zero-Shannon, G by EXCALIBUR

Japanese artist EXCALIBUR (Yoshinori Tanaka) is fascinated by modernity in all its facets: social transformations, new mythmaking, decentralized reality, culture of computer games, information overload. EXCALIBUR has a solid career in the offline art world, his works were presented all over the world: from USA and Japan to Cambodia and Taiwan.

A small series of conceptual works “Grater Zero Japan-Satoshi” heirs/refers to a project of Japanese avant-garde artist Genpei Akasegawa “Greater Japan Zero-Yen Note” (1967). In 1960s Akasegawa created numerous Japanese banknotes that he started using as a material for other works. He stated that banknotes are just paper, for which he even got sentenced by local authorities. EXCALIBUR refers to this prominent case in Japanese art history and brings up the discussion around originals and fakes.

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The Curated platform supports openness in the Web3 space. Most of the works featured in this Curator’s Choice section are fetched from external Web3 marketplaces and fall under their respective regulations, and remain the intellectual copyright of the artists. The editorials are non-commercial and we do not take any fees or commissions.