Reclusive Artist Vay Degrado Releases NFT Art Piece Origami Gang On The Ethereum Blockchain

Notoriously reclusive NFT artist Vay Degrado has released their latest work of art on the Ethereum blockchain. The work of art is a modern take on constellations forming animals in the sky.

NFTs are surging in popularity following the news of South Carolina artist Beeple securing over $69 million for his piece “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” a digital collage of all of his art starting from May 1, 2007. The original gif of the Nyan Cat racked up a sum of around $580,000. A tweet from Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, was sold for $2.5 million. This interest in NFTs follows on the heels of the rise of cryptocurrencies and increased awareness of the blockchain, the underlying technology that makes cryptocurrencies possible.

Vay Degrado is the latest in a line of artists who are putting their art up for sale in the NFT format. NFT stands for Non-fungible token. It is a unique asset whose proof of ownership is maintained on the blockchain, a distributed ledger. They can be digital items such as collectibles or artwork or game items. A popular example of in-game items sold as NFTs is CryptoKitties, a blockchain-powered game about collecting and breeding digital cats. Another example of digital art as NFTs is CryptoPunks, a set of 10,000 unique collectible characters. Some industry experts credit CryptoPunks with kicking off the CryptoArt movement.

Vay Degrado’s art piece “Origami Gang” contains images of a deer, a fox, a penguin, a rabbit, and a squirrel drawn in solid outlines against the backdrop of a starry sky. The crux of the piece is the representation of animals in the form of constellations. The animals all face in one direction, symbolic of the constellations that always point toward the north star. There can be more interpretations of the art piece as one dissects the hidden meaning behind the selection of animals and the gradient of colors that are used to represent them.

Origami Gang fits in perfectly with the rest of the digital art from Vay Degrado that is surreal bordering on the absurd. The artist chooses to make bold use of colors with an emphasis on purple and its many shades. The images that they repurpose and remix to create their art evoke a strong connection to their original subject matter. In the more minimal digital art designs where the artist doesn’t use images from popular culture, they choose to instead focus on angular forms and patterns that seek to create a beautiful balance out of simple geometric primitives. These minimal pieces are reminiscent of Piet Mondrian’s abstract masterpieces. Currently, there are only 3 up for sale.

Vay Degrado’s other prominent piece is the pixelated recreation of the Mona Lisa. It is available on the NFT marketplace Rarible under the title “Vay Degrado Debut”. As of the time of writing, 10 copies of the piece are available for sale for 92 ETH each. It is accompanied by a cryptic message that says “Only buy the field if you know the treasure is buried in it.” The artist’s Twitter bio also contains the caption “I sell keys to treasure chests via NFT’s. Most can’t afford.” Their Rarible profile says, “I dip my hands in chaos and showcase universal secrets by wiping my hands clean on this digital canvas.” These mysterious statements add to the enigmatic effect of Vay Degrado’s art. The lack of context also leaves room for ample interpretation of the artist’s intent.

NFTs are a somewhat controversial topic in the art community due to their reliance on the blockchain technologies on which they are based. Blockchain mining is a resource-intensive process that uses a lot of electricity. When someone buys, sells, or makes NFTs, it uses up resources and creates emissions in the form of carbon dioxide. Artists are pledging to offset the emissions from the sale of their creations to remain carbon neutral but the true scale of its effect on climate change is still unknown and has proved to be a point of contention in the art community.

Those interested can view Vay's work for sale at


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Vay Degrado