Curating the Creeps

Judy Mam

It is my great delight to curate a selection of 2017 Creeps for Metapurse. With this delight comes great responsibility. It feels like trying to choose favorites among my 108 beloved children.

I feel I need to explain the criteria by which I selected these wonderful Creeps. The main criterion is my visceral experience of the art. These are the Creeps that give me goosebumps, not because they are creepy, but because of their beauty, thoughtfulness, expressiveness, and quality.

Going through this process made me ponder: what does curation entail? Is it just based on aesthetic criteria or am I compelled to make choices for other reasons? I can categorically say that potential financial considerations did not play a role in my selection. I could have selected art primarily by those DADA artists who have made a name for themselves in the broader Crypto art community, by looking at what is more popular among our collectors, or diving into speculative divinations that quite frankly escape me. I could also have tried to be fair and include one work of each artist, and I did as long as this did not clash with my base criterion. In the selection are pieces by artists who only have one artwork in the collection and pieces by artists who have multiple drawings. There are very early pieces and less early ones. But in essence, this is the art that I love.

Why do I love this art? I have come to realize that the Creeps have grown on me since we first selected them in 2017. Looking afresh at them today, I find that I am only getting to know them, which is a quality that all good art should have — the more time you spend with it, the more intrigued and charmed you should be.

They are quite extraordinary in different ways. In some cases, I am floored by the skill of the artists, like in the case of Raúl Ávila, who is 80 years old and a master, Carlos Márquez, also an art teacher like Raúl, and Javier Errecarte, a hugely talented artist with a dark sense of humor. Their finesse and skill move me, particularly considering that they made these drawings with our “shitty tool” on DADA. Otro and Serste have a powerful combination of skill, expressiveness, and raw originality. Their art looks like no one else's. Hernán Cacciatore, who I must confess is one of my favorite artists, and María García are without formal art training, yet they are two of the most joyfully imaginative artists on DADA. I get a kick out of seasoned artists like Bea, Cromo, and Moxarra letting loose with their own unique style.

I tried to achieve a range between artworks that have been overlooked, perhaps because of their quiet yet profoundly disturbing power, like Serste’s, Massel’s, and Lorena Pinasco’s women; and some iconic pieces that resonate strongly, like Boris Z. Simunich’s melting penguin, Moxarra’s stoner dog, and Cromomaniaco’s Weirdo, among others. I hope I have struck a balance from deep shades to bright colors and within a wide range of feelings, from heaviness to lightness, from the haunting to the humorous. We choose art because it reflects us. Or perhaps it is the art that chooses us.

A collection is not just a grouping of individual artworks. Ideally, it needs to cohere. This coherence can be thematic or aesthetic but putting the pieces together involves a mysterious, instinctual part that that is not rational. This is what distinguishes the Creeps & Weirdos from other NFT collections. Their cumulative effect is not quantifiable by attributes. Even at their darkest and creepiest, all of these Creeps have a joie de vivre that can only come from artists drawing freely and playfully, without inhibitions or constraints. This is why we are deeply moved that you are moved by them. NFTs may come and go; collectibles, algorithms, and endless lists of attributes may demand our attention and our formulas, but art made in its purest form by artists having fun together is priceless.

A collaborative art platform where people worldwide speak through drawings. Building a blockchain token economy for the arts. DADA. Living Art. https://dada.art

A collaborative art platform where people worldwide speak through drawings. Building a blockchain token economy for the arts. DADA. Living Art. https://dada.art