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Earlier this month, the artist Joan Cornellà entered the metaverse with the NFT collection “MOAR,” made in collaboration with the collectible specialists FWENCLUB. Launching for sale on the virtual marketplace OpenSea, within 24 hours of its debut, the Spanish artist’s project had climbed to reach the number one spot on the platform’s roster, surpassing other successful collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and Azuki.
Known for his bitingly humorous cartoons, Cornellà’s series of 5,555 limited-edition NFTs was imagined in several phases, with the later editions launching throughout 2022, including a metaverse destination where owners of the NFTs can gather. At their initial launch, the works were sold as blind boxes, which only unveiled their contents (a population of cartoon-style avatars) after a certain period of time. Taking the virtual world by storm, Cornellà’s avatars were soon seen gracing the online profiles of the likes of KAWS, JJ Lin, and Brooklyn Beckham. Interested in the collection’s origins and Cornellà’s first metaverse experience, Whitewall caught up with the artist to learn more.
WHITEWALL: This is your first NFT collection. What made you interested in entering this space?
JOAN CORNELLÁ: I started by making silent comics to experiment on social media, which has been instrumental [in showing] my work to a wide audience. Most people know me through the internet, so I owe a lot to this medium. By trying different things, I can express myself through my works in different mediums. It’s always good to try new things and here comes my first-ever NFT collection/challenge.
WW: How did you decide the way in which you wanted to enter the space?
JC: I have been working with AllRightsReserved for several years for exhibitions in [Hong Kong] and Shanghai figures, sculptures and prints. They set up a new trading platform for creative collectibles, [which] makes me think working with FWENCLUB perhaps can bring new interesting creations.
WW: What was the initial idea for MOAR?
JC: “MOAR” is the story of a mansion in the metaverse. It is a building where 5,555 creatures with their souls [were] minted with the ERC721 blockchain as NFTs. While the world is in lockdown due to the invasion of aliens, guests staying at the MOAR live peacefully together. Each is unique, hand-drawn using over 180 unique attributes.
WW: Who are these creatures?
JC: These might be someone like you and me, someone you might know, maybe zombies, cyborgs, aliens… anything you think of might be found among these 5,555 creatures.
WW: How do they inhabit MOAR, the mansion in the metaverse that will open later this year?
JC: It is a rather unusual mansion where you can find shops, games and virtual exhibitions. It is an art and metaverse experience together.