CryptoPunks Announces Nina Chanel Abney as the Inaugural Artist for its Punk In Residence Incubator Program
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~ Miami, FL - Yuga Labs, the leading web3 lifestyle and media company, has announced the launch of a new incubator program called Punk in Residence. This program aims to redefine the concept of fine art by partnering and collaborating with artists to create innovative and expressive works in the digital art and blockchain space.

Punk in Residence is designed to encourage creative experimentation, giving artists the freedom to interpret the concept of "Punk" from their own perspective using any medium they choose. Through this program, artists will have access to next-generation technology and technical expertise from Yuga Labs to bring their creations onto the blockchain, pushing the boundaries of culture and code.

Natalie Stone, General Manager of CryptoPunks, spoke about the inspiration behind this program, stating that "the original CryptoPunks collection remains unalterable and undeniable in its impact, with experimentation as a core part of its DNA." She also emphasized the responsibility of Yuga Labs to expand the potential and reach of art on the blockchain while amplifying new voices. Stone expressed excitement for their first artist collaboration with Nina Chanel Abney, describing her as having an "undeniable curiosity, genre-defying work, and punk spirit."

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Abney's work is known for capturing the fast-paced nature of contemporary culture and has been featured in collections around the world. Her exploration of identity, race, celebrity, religion, politics, and sex will be reflected in her residency as she examines self-fashioning within digital identity.

Abney herself expressed enthusiasm for this collaboration with CryptoPunks: "Cryptopunks are a pioneering project that has played a crucial role in the creation of the digital collectible space. By collaborating with them, I saw an opportunity to be at the center of a unique intersection of art, technology and culture." As a recognition for her role in piloting this initiative, Abney was gifted Punk #72 by CryptoPunks.

Chris Lyons, President of web3 media, a16z crypto, also shared his thoughts on Abney's appointment as the inaugural artist in residence: "Nina Chanel Abney's appointment as Cryptopunks' inaugural artist in residence signals another historic moment in the convergence of culture and innovation within the crypto community." He praised Abney's interest in blockchain technology as a medium for artistic expression and believes it will continue to drive artistic innovation within the NFT space.

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Abney and CryptoPunks plan to exhibit their joint collection at Abney's upcoming solo exhibition later this year. The collection will then be available for sale to the public on Magic Eden, the only marketplace that honors creator royalties. In line with CryptoPunks' ethos of championing and sustaining artistry in a fair and rewarding ecosystem, Abney and subsequent participating artists will share equally with Yuga Labs in the financial success of their digital releases.

The Punk in Residence program aims to engage with two artists per year for a residency. It welcomes diverse collaborators from various artistic backgrounds, with no requirement for a web3 background. The program will highlight artists who use unconventional and inventive techniques. Participating artists can work from anywhere and will receive ongoing mentorship, technical guidance, and production support from Yuga Labs and the CryptoPunks team as they create new works of art. For more information on this program, visit https://hub.cryptopunks.app/punk-in-residence.
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