Home CryptocurrencyBitcoin Breakdancing medic’s NFT auctioned at Sotheby’s — Grant Yun, creator of NFT – Cointelegraph Magazine

Breakdancing medic’s NFT auctioned at Sotheby’s — Grant Yun, creator of NFT – Cointelegraph Magazine

by SuperiorInvest

Artist Name: Grant Riven Yun
Location: Milwaukee
NFT First Minting Date: February 3, 2021
Which blockchains? Ethereum counterparty (Bitcoin)

who is it?

Grant Yun has always been an artist at heart with an early desire to see his work appear at a major auction house. A curious and driven individual, Yun studies medicine while juggling his work as an artist and performing as a breakdancer who has competed across the United States.

Since discovering NFT over two years ago, the Wisconsin native has taken his art and personal brand into the stratosphere much faster than he imagined. With a minimalist style that evokes nostalgic vibes among collectors and his witty Twitter persona, Yun carves out a significant percentage of mindshare among digital art fans.

“Before NFT, I told myself that one day I would be an artist selling at a major auction house, because at the time that was my only metric of what it meant to be a successful artist. I had absolutely no experience of being an artist, so that was the only metric I had to measure.”

Metrics achieved in October 2022:

“Having my work placed at Sotheby’s was surreal. I think the most important moment for me was when I signed the contract… It felt like such a monumental moment.”

Yun credited NFT as the accelerator that helped him achieve what would otherwise have taken a decade.

“It was honestly surreal. I think the growth of artists in this space is hyper accelerated. To achieve what I have achieved should not happen in ten years. For me, it happened within two years of entering the space. But we’re here.”

Special Delivery, 2022 - on display at Sotheby's as part of the Xperience Digital Art Auction.  Author: Grant Yun
“Special Delivery, 2022” was put up for sale at Sotheby’s as part of the Xperience digital art auction. Source: Sotheby’s

Personal style

Describing his own distinctive style, Yun acknowledges the evocative effect of simplicity and the impact of old-school video games.

“I see my work as minimalistic and nostalgic,” he says. “I think my art is really about being ambiguous enough where people can relate to it with their own personal experiences, but specific enough where it can evoke certain memories from people’s lives.”

“I try to limit the amount of detail and clutter. It’s really a less in more kind of mentality.”

“With gaming vibes in my art, it’s mostly based on Nintendo games – especially the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and GameCube era. I feel that Nintendo games, especially those published by Nintendo itself, have a very specific color palette – a bit like Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda. They all have a very unique and similar kind of color set.”

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Notable sales to date:

“The Alien” from the “Space” series sold for 136.9 ETH (equivalent to $236,217 as of sale date) on July 28, 2022.

Alien from the series 'Space'Alien from the series 'Space'
“Alien.” Source: SuperRare

“Laundry” from the “Northeast” series sold for 70 ETH (equivalent to $115,182 USD on sale date) on January 28, 2023.

Laundry from the 'Northeast' seriesLaundry from the 'Northeast' series
“Laundry.” Source: Art of This Millennium

“Casa Roja” from “Grant Yun Early Works” sold for 25 ETH (equivalent to $31,596.50 on sale date) on January 8, 2023.

Casa Roja by Grant Yun Early WorksCasa Roja by Grant Yun Early Works
“The Red House.” Source: OpenSea

“En Route #7” from the “Grant Yun x Avant Arte” collection sold for 16 ETH (equivalent to $19,426 USD on sale date) on January 3, 2023.

En Route #7 from the Grant Yun x Avant Arte collectionEn Route #7 from the Grant Yun x Avant Arte collection
“Following route #7. Source: OpenSea


Traditional art continues to provide inspiration, especially established painters of the early to mid-20th century, such as American Gothic painter Grant Wood or Pop artist Ed Ruscha.

“Most of my inspiration comes from painters like Grant and Ed and studying painting from the traditional art world.”

Yun added, “I should mention that I like to keep easter eggs in my illustrations, things related to cryptocurrencies. But the vision of where my art is going, I think, has remained the same.”

Young Corn, 1931, Grant WoodYoung Corn, 1931, Grant Wood
“Young Corn”, 1931, Grant Wood. Source: Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

What should artists pay attention?

As a student of the digital art game and a big fan of generative art in particular, Yun says Mpkoz is one to watch out for. Mpkoz is the artist behind the remarkable “Chimera” collection.

Also getting props from Yun is Summer Wagner, an up-and-coming NFT photographer who Justin Aversano also reviewed in a recent Creator of NFT.

“Two of my favorites at the moment are definitely Summer and Mpkoz. But I know there are so many more that I’m leaving them out.”

Metropolis, mint #0 (Berlin) from the ArtBlocks x Bright Moments collaboration, by mpkozMetropolis, mint #0 (Berlin) from the ArtBlocks x Bright Moments collaboration, by mpkoz
“Metropolis”, mint #0 (Berlin) from Mpkoza’s ArtBlocks x Bright Moments collaboration. Source: Twitter


Known for his ability to reveal magic in ordinary environments, Yun is also a fan of categories and creation in the series.

“When I create illustrations, I try to sort them into certain series for the most part. I think I’m doing the best job in the series,” Yun said.

“It helps me because I like to look at the world categorically. I also think a lot of people do the same subconsciously or consciously. I believe that’s why we always put a lot of emphasis on collecting a set or collecting in general. For the sake of continuity for me and for collecting,” he says. “I try to work with very similar themes from past illustrations.”

Having moved from the hustle and bustle of California to the quieter parts of Wisconsin, Yun is passionate about his art of telling a story simply by being present and observing what is right in front of him.

“All my themes are based on my experiences, such as where I lived and specific memories I had. When I start to create an illustration, I hold back a bit and think about the composition in my head. For example, when I’m driving somewhere and I see a random thing on the side of the road, a composition comes to mind, but then I try to shape that composition into a series that I’m working on.”

“Another example would be if I look out the window and see a building, I’ll try to make sure I use that building as a reference, but the illustration itself will try to embody one of the different themes. that I continue.”

Store from Grails II (PROOF), by Grant YunStore from Grails II (PROOF), by Grant Yun
“Trade” from “Grails II.” Source: Proof.xyz

Reflections on the new relationship between artist and collector through NFT

Yun says that the relationship between artist and collector is completely different in the world of NFT than in the world of traditional art. “Before NFT, artists were represented by galleries, and galleries were the line of communication between collectors and buyers. It was almost discouraged—and still is almost discouraged—for artists to transact directly or communicate with collectors. This is in stark contrast to what is happening in the Web3 space right now,” says Yun.

Like other creators, he attributes his social media presence to building a following. “To be honest, I think part of my success is because of how active I am on Twitter and how willing and eager I am to talk to people.” He adds that he doesn’t think “the value of art should be entirely dictated by a person’s willingness to be active on Twitter.”

“I empathize with people who may not be 20 like me, or who aren’t as tech savvy or experienced as I am, they’ve been around technology basically since birth.”

Get production memes from 'The Memes by 6529' collection by Grant YunGet production memes from 'The Memes by 6529' collection by Grant Yun
“Seize The Memes Of Production” from “The Memes by 6529” collection. Source: OpenSea


Grant Yun’s website
Breakdance recording and video
Grails III Artist Reveal Show
Super rare

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Greg OakfordGreg Oakford

Greg Oakford

Greg Oakford is the co-founder of NFT Fest Australia. A former marketing and communications specialist in the sports world, Greg now focuses on event management, content creation and web3 consulting. He is an avid NFT collector and hosts a weekly podcast covering all things NFT.

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