Last August, NFT marketplace SuperRare set in motion the latest phase in its development, termed SuperRare 2.0. Arriving three years on from its launch, the shift sees the platform direct its focus onto its community, initiating products like digital storefronts, a decentralized organization, and its $RARE token to put ownership and curatorial authority in the hands of creators. It’s part of SuperRare’s declared “disruption of the art market” — an ongoing pursuit that the company is undertaking not just online, but now, in-person.
Today, SuperRare opens its first physical gallery in New York City. Intended as a place to gather digital artists, collectors, and NFT art-lovers, the three-month pop-up will host a series of events to convene the Web3 community and of course, exhibit a diverse range of NFT art. To that end, the SuperRare Gallery has lined up display partners including Samsung, Meural, Planar, and Infinite Objects, a platform that enables owners to “video print” their NFTs. The gallery is further integrated with the $RARE token.
For its first act, the gallery will host Visions From Remembered Futures, SuperRare’s debut exhibition led by the platform’s curators An Rong and Mika Bar-On Nesher, and featuring sci-fi NFTs by 15 SuperRare artists including Blake Kathryn, Krista Kim, mgxs, NessGraphics, and Reuben Wu. Programming ahead includes dedicated exhibitions centered on Pride Month, 2D digital paintings, and works by Black digital artists.
Why it matters
SuperRare Gallery joins a host of initiatives and activations that have sought to port a digital medium into the real world. From the Seattle NFT Museum to NFT exhibitions to a NFT ATM (yes, a NFT ATM) — these projects are doing the job of educating and initiating general audiences into the Web3 realm, effectively mainstreaming NFTs and legitimizing them as objects worthy of display. SuperRare’s pop-up additionally serves as a rich branding opportunity, aligning the medium, in the eyes of the casual viewer, with the marketplace.
The in-person platform, too, offers SuperRare the chance to spatialize its offerings and invites NFT enthusiasts to experience digital art in a physically immersive form. As Rong explained, “There will be around 15 screens in total in the gallery. Each screen will be dedicated to one piece of art for around 3 weeks to counter the short attention span people would otherwise have when they view NFTs on Twitter or marketplaces.”
Yet, such a gallery risks recreating the gatekeeping of the IRL art world, particularly as it’s showcasing in a centralized location a medium that’s intended to be decentralized. Still, outreach is outreach. It falls to the SuperRare Gallery to balance curation and accessibility in a way that’s as innovative and disruptive as the art it’s exhibiting.
What they said
“Artists are using NFTs to push boundaries in art. The SuperRare gallery has been designed to celebrate the medium and create immersive experiences that bring this art to life. By integrating the $RARE token, we’re creating a space for community voices and connection in a way that hasn’t been done before.” — John Crain, Co-Founder and CEO, SuperRare Labs