Nina Chanel Abney was announced as the inaugural artist of the CryptoPunks residency program, titled 'Punk in Residence'. This residency program is organized by Yuga Labs, the leading web3 media company that owns the iconic CryptoPunks property, along with Bored Ape Yacht Club and other digital art and NFT projects.

Abney and her works caught the eyes of the organizers for her inquisitive nature, innovative approach to themes at the intersection of identity, gender, celebrity, religion, politics and sex, and her own forays into the world of NFTs with Nina's Super Cool World (2022). Her works are featured in collections around the world, including at the Brooklyn Museum, MoMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Natalie Stone, general manager at CryptoPunks, felt that Abney's genre-defying works appropriately capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture and that they embody the punk spirit that is at the core of the CryptoPunks ethos. 

Punk in Residence is an extension of the forward-thinking legacy initiated with the appearance of CryptoPunks, a series of 10,000 NFTs conceived by Larva Labs and minted on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017. The residency program intends to gather artists in an ongoing series of collaborations where they can create limited-edition works and explore the question “what does punk mean to you?” Abney had this to say about being selected for this residency:

Cryptopunks are a pioneering project that has played a crucial role in the creation of the digital collectible space. By collaborating with them, I saw an opportunity to be at the center of a unique intersection of art, technology, and culture.

After finishing her tenure at the residency program, Abney and CryptoPunks plan on displaying the joint collection at a solo exhibition later in 2024. A public sale is then planned on the marketplace Magic Eden, a move that is fully in line with the CryptoPunks commitment to sharing their financial success from these sales with the creators.

The Punk in Residence program will be open to two artists each year, who can participate in the program from anywhere, while also receiving mentorship, technical guidance and production support in their creative work from Yuga Labs. Collaborators from diverse backgrounds are eligible to participate, and a background in web3 is not required. More information about this program and the artist can be found here and here.

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