One can be forgiven for assuming a Gucci x Christie’s collaboration would feature leather, baubles, horse bits and coated canvas—particularly if one missed the headlines announcing the fashion house’s forays into the world of NFTs and its proclaimed future focus on “blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital.” Ditto for those unaware that in 2022 the auction house launched Christie’s 3.0, becoming the first major auction house to host on-chain sales.
Tomorrow, the digitally driven duo will open bidding in Future Frequencies: Explorations in Generative Art and Fashion, an on-chain auction featuring works by twenty leading talents in the generative art scene, including Tyler Hobbs, Emily Xie, Claire Silver, Botto, William Mapan, DRAUP founder Dani Loftus and Zach Lieberman. The twenty-one works in Future Frequencies, many of which were specially commissioned by Gucci, will be showcased on Gucci Art Space, the fashion house’s online gallery.
Most of the pieces on offer are explorations of fashion, art and technology—fingacode’s nth culture #35, for example, was inspired by the textile heritage of Bamenda, Cameroon and Claire Silver and Emi Kusano’s Shinjitai was created in honor of Gucci—but there are some notable outliers. The two Hobbs pieces on offer are both from the artist’s Fidenza series (#234 and #367). In June, six Fidenza works sold above their estimates for a total of $2.1 million at Sotheby’s, and Fidenza #313 sold for just over $3.3 million in 2021.
All of the pieces in the auction are NFTs, though some are accompanied by prints of the digital artwork. In other cases, the buyer will receive a hi-res render (as with Zach Lieberman’s circle interference study (sunrise)) or permission from the artist to create a textile print (as with Sasha Stiles’ REPETAE: The Loom of Language). Meanwhile, the buyer of Robbie Barrat’s AI Generated Nude Portrait #7 Frame #190—by far the lot with the highest estimate because Barrat is no longer creating NFTs—will receive a foil-wrapped plastic card with a private key that will let them claim the work. Shinjitai’s buyer will receive a 3D file that can be used as a metaverse avatar or 3D printed along with 50 yards of printed and embroidered fabric with the digital artwork’s primary pattern.
In a statement, Claire Silver described Shinjitai as “wearable art that uses AI to merge the storied aesthetic of Gucci with the spirit of Harajuku fashion,” and elaborated that creating the piece meant pairing artificial intelligence and advanced mathematical functions with antique paintings and tapestries from China, Japan, and Eastern and Western Europe to celebrate “the sophistication of experience, the innocent joy of the new, the depth of cultural heritage and the light of the future.”
Bidding in Future Frequencies: Explorations in Generative Art and Fashion will be open from 10 a.m. EST on July 18 through 12 p.m. EST on July 25.