On a wall in an alley behind a block of fashionable cafes, luxe-hipster boutiques and a foodie-grade ice cream shop is a giant mural of a non-fungible token, or NFT. The street art is labeled with a series number of #7767 and the image appears to be a super-pixelated portrait of a cartoon character in the style of the highly-successful and desired Bored Ape Yacht Club and Crypto Punks NFTs.
The artwork has its fans and haters. Passers-by and friends seem divided, with some seeing it as “awesome” and others seeing it as “a scam,” reacting with judgey eye-rolls and shruggy back-and-forth head shakes.
The mural is in the post-gentrified Abbot-Kinney neighborhood, a few blocks inland from Venice Beach proper, at the end of the alley that runs behind Intelligentsia Coffee and the Salt & Straw ice cream outpost.
As the emergence of NFTs has accelerated over the past couple of years, and really skyrocketing into the greater public consciousness since the sale of artist Beeple’s NFT for $69 million at auction in early 2021, NFTs are popping up ever more in the pop-cultural and physical landscapes. And doubtless there will be more to come.