Despite its relative youth, NFT art has already dazzled the art world with controversy, intrigue and surprise in equal measure. For the latest in a number of firsts for the genre, a Christie’s auction will offer traditional, physical paintings accompanied by NFT artworks made by digital feminist collective Rewind. 

The anonymous collective has blazed a trail in digital art, reinterpreting existing paintings to confront gender and minority imbalances in art world structures. 

Elaine de Kooning, Red Oxide Grotto (Cave #175), 1988, acrylic on canvas
Rewind Collective, Thinking of Elaine (I Call Bull). non-fungible token (.mp4)
Above: Elaine de Kooning, Red Oxide Grotto (Cave #175), 1988, acrylic on canvas. Below: Rewind Collective, Thinking of Elaine (I Call Bull). non-fungible token (.mp4). Courtesy of Amar Singh Gallery and Christie’s

Rewind Collective has created original works inspired by five paintings by pioneering women of Abstract Expressionism. Collectors who successfully bid on the paintings – by Helen Frankenthaler, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Yvonne Thomas, and Lynne Mapp Drexler – will receive an accompanying original NFT created by Rewind Collective.

For the sale, Christie’s and Rewind Collective have teamed up with activist and gallerist Amar Singh, who recently pledged to donate $5m worth of art by female, LGBTQ+ and minority artists to museums worldwide by 2025. 

Grace Hartigan’s abstract painting, Pigeon Calls, 1962, oil on canvas
Part of Christie’s NFT Art auction, People drink in a bar called Cedar St in Rewind Collective, Thinking of Grace (Cedar Tavern), non-fungible token
Above: Grace Hartigan, Pigeon Calls, 1962, oil on canvas. Below: Rewind Collective, Thinking of Grace (Cedar Tavern), non-fungible token (.mp4). Courtesy of Amar Singh Gallery and Christie’s

‘I exhibited Rewind Collective at my gallery in 2017 and I share their mission to champion women and underrepresented communities,’ says Singh. ‘For me, LGBTQ+, female and minority artists have long been overlooked and cast aside. My collaboration with Christie’s brings the women of abstraction to the forefront where they belong, with the added help of Rewind Collective’s stunning NFTs also honouring them.’ 

NFT artworks include Thinking of Elaine, created in response to Elaine de Kooning’s Red Oxide Grotto (Cave #175). As Rewind Collective explains of the piece, ‘Elaine de Kooning always called bull amongst the misogyny of the art world, she was outspoken, a rule-breaker, and famously humorous. This digital work anthropomorphises de Kooning’s famous bull paintings, fighting like the women of Abstract Expressionism fought in the 1950s to be seen and heard.’ §

Part of Christie’s NFT Art auction, Lynne Mapp Drexler’s abstract painting Daffodil Gloucester, oil on canvas, 1960. Courtesy of the Amar Singh Gallery and Christie’s 
Lynne Mapp Drexler (1928-1999), Daffodil Gloucester, oil on canvas, 1960. Courtesy of Amar Singh Gallery and Christie’s
Part of Christie’s NFT Art auction, Portrait of a pixelated woman in Rewind Collective’s Remember Us IV (Watch Your Head), non-fungible token (.mp4
Rewind Collective, Remember Us IV (Watch Your Head), non-fungible token (.mp4). Courtesy of Amar Singh Gallery and Christie’s