About nine years ago in 2013, an art exhibition in Portugal (itself one of the most underrated countries with a vibrant artist community) set tongues wagging in modern art circles. All because of the subject: human anuses.
It’s one thing for a state-sponsored exhibition at the Serralves Museum in Porto
to shock and awe but it seemed like quite another feat when you take in the fact that "Ojo del culo" took public funds to look for scores of people willing to bare their behinds for the close-ups.
It didn’t take too long for people to warm up to the at-first uncomfortable subject matter -- after all, it was about time that the hidden visage of the naked human body joined the pantheons of nudity in art.
As it usually does in art, it only takes one famous event to set off other artists, and this seemed to happen with the anus. Belgium a year later opened up the Anus Hotel.
Hugely unpopular, according to the Geert Verbeke, owner of the Verbeke Foundation, which maintains the hotel, who explained to Vice, quite artistically: “It is meant as an indictment against consumer society. But at the same time, it’s also a good joke.”
A year later, in 2015, British artists started taking in commissions to make bronze casts of the very same body part. Initially having a decade-long career in making chocolate candles of asses (branded as Edible Asses), Magnus Irvin found that people were willing to pay roughly $1,900 to have their asses cast in metal.
Of course, he couldn’t have predicted that digital asses would start to cost even more and become even more popular only a few years later… when asses invariably made their way to the non-fungible token (NFT) art scene.
Ironically, NFTs did no enter asses. Rather, asses entered NFTs. Yeah, okay, that’s being a bit cheeky, but it’s accurate.
In an age where almost everything has already been “made into an NFT” in the name of modern art and collectibles, we are now witnessing a proliferation of butts and asses in the NFT realm. Of course, most are pretty harmless and borderline safe for work. Like the Ass Club, which was just a collection of 455 randomly generated “booties” with hand-drawn traits. With a floor price of just about 0.046 ETH (just below $180), it’s one of the more affordable ass NFTs around.
If you prefer the more old-school NFT art reminiscent of CryptoPunks -- you know, with exaggerated pixels to lend it some authentic NFT feel -- then you might prefer to scout around for CryptoAsses, which has just a slightly higher floor price of 0.06 ETH.
If, however, you’ve decided that you’re a bit more of a cultured person and fine appreciator of the aesthetics of the buttocks, then you might travel all the way back to the origin of it all, Portugal, to buy an NFT or famous asses, like this one dubbed “the most famous ass in Portugal” sold by La Galerie des NFT. I’ve certainly never heard of Diana Cu de Melancia, but apparently, she’s just one of the 2,000-odd porn stars who’ll NFT their anus in a public minting to be announced soon.
And in case you’re still a bit more sensible and prefer more conservative undertones of the fleshiest area of the human body, then you might want to check out NFTs of toilet paper instead. Perhaps inspired by the original panic-buy of the Covid-19 pandemic, these WipeMyAss digital tokens are merely unique variations of toilet paper… they’re so cool and modern you even get to mint and stake them for a DeFi twist. Oh, and they’re also very hiply launched on Solana.
Of course, like every trendy sector, there are always downstream commercial activities, as popular reality star cum influencer Stephanie Matto demonstrates. After making a $200,000 fortune from selling her own farts bottled up in a jar, she’s now decided to sell those jars… as NFTs. Fart Jars NFTs are merely shy of $130 a pop. Because, why not, right, NFT people?
If you’ve been following my writing, you’ll know I’m a supporter of NFTs and blockchain technologies. You’ll also know I don’t mind calling out the scams and shams.
Call me an uncultured technologist and NFT art critic, but wouldn’t you agree that the number of ass-themed NFTs is too high?