The NFT, or Non-Fungible-Token, has become an art market buzzword in recent years. Being non-interchangeable, and irreplicable, the tokens are generating a new market for unique and authenticated works of Digital Art. However, this buzzword has emerged in tandem with a predominantly male-centric narrative privileging male artists such as Beeple and Andrés Reisinger. Graffiti Queens, a new online international exhibition, presents a challenge to this narrative as the first all-female NFT artist group show in Digital Art history.
Within the wider public sphere, digital spaces are playing an increasing role in social movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. However, this has led to rising accusations of tokenistic support for women and minority groups. The practice of tokenism can be defined as a forced level of inclusivity supported for superficial ends. It is dangerous because it can create the appearance of inclusivity without making any meaningful change. Given the growing presence of tokenism in these areas, notably social media, it seems only right to question the role of NFTs within this. Are NFTs another case of tokenism or can they be used to generate vital change in the digital sphere?
Taking place on the Decentraland platform, Graffiti Queens included over 200 digital artists when it launched on April 3rd. Hosted by Graffiti Kings, the exhibition was organised by its founder and artist Darren Cullen, alongside curator Crypto Yuna. The idea for the show was born out of a discussion by members of WOCA (Women of Crypto Art) about creating a group exhibition for women digital artists in the NFT space.