With a background in tech and creative partnerships, Apruzzese combined her skills and passion to establish a space on the crypto twitter-net for documenting the stories of its participants, facilitate the development of new initiatives and share the art she enjoys. We hope that our interview can inspire more curious minds to learn about crypto art, the technology behind it and ways to join its diverse community.
Without further ado, we jump into our first question!
AA: Hi Micol! Please tell us what attracted you to dive into crypto art? What have you been up to before?
MA: I’ve always been an art lover; a lot of my friends are artists and have been roaming around the art world, exhibitions, galleries ever since I started living in London 10 years ago. Especially in the more “underground” scene of art. I was introduced to crypto-art by an artist (a friend of mine) back in May 2020 – he was minting on SuperRare at the time, and since he knew I had a passion for art and had been working in tech pretty much my whole adult life he thought this could be a good intersection. I think he was right 🙂 haha. That’s how it all started, really – I dived into the crypto-art world, opening an anonymous profile (like most people at the time), and started following a bunch of artists and accounts, educating myself on the blockchain, NFTs, cryptoart, metamask, digital wallet, ownership and all of these buzzwords. After a few months of being anonymous, I thought there was an opportunity to open a small channel, just for fun, to document what I was learning and finding out about the space and here we are now with VerticalCrypto Art.
AA: We can’t help but wonder, what was your motivation in launching the verticalcrypto.art website?
MA: I realized after eight months that I had no actual place (other than Twitter and my own Google Drive) where all of the content, interviews, information I had shared were stored, and where people could easily navigate to certain interviews or content I had posted. That’s why I decided it was time to open a website.
AA: Have you learned new things ever since you started being active in the space? What were some of your favourite discoveries?
MA: I have learnt a whole new way of thinking / valuing community / understanding the power of many. It’s difficult for me to pinpoint one or two things I have learned since coming into the space, and learning more about blockchain, cryptoart, decentralization, speaking to so many different voices has changed the way I think, feel, and feel, live. It May sound cheesy but it really is the truth. Probably if I had to think about one massive learning, it is that a group of people with shared visions and intentions can really move / shift and change the dynamics and perspectives of engrained concepts and that every voice has something interesting to say.
AA: How do you go about selecting artists/topic/ platform to feature?
MA: At the moment, it’s just me doing research, looking through the various marketplaces, trying to feature new artists every week and especially ones that are more under the radar; this is something I have always done since the very beginning and which I deeply care about. I am looking for new ways to decentralize the features, curation and story-telling I do in the content that I post – more to come soon!
Micol in conversation with artist Sinclair at one of the Vertical Cryptoart talks
AA: What qualities do you find inspiring among the leading voices in the space?
MA: I find the diversity of the voices in the space is the quality I enjoy it most. Many voices from different backgrounds, with diverse angles and perspectives, and learning and exchanging thoughts with so many of them is a true honour. I also admire leaders like Colborn Bell (Museum of CryptoArt) and all the team behind the Museum, who I value as a fundamental institution for cryptoart and a leading example. His love for the art and the artist as well as an honest interest in building a Museum which will conserve, protect and bring to life so many stories from crypto artists who have built the space since the early years, is admirable.
AA: How do you see the community developing over time? What do you think are some of the main forces that will influence the ecosystem?
MA: I think the community will grow, and therefore, there will be more smaller communities within a wider ecosystem, which is the natural progression of it. With bigger players such as corporates, brands, business’ etc, coming into the space we will see a shift/divide into potentially different buckets of “crypto-art” and NFTs. Personally, I believe the driving forces who will continue to have a positive impact are Museum of CryptoArt, NFT42 with Jimmy, Nate and Rizzle, platforms like Async Art and Hicetnunc, Loopify (an asset to the community and someone who has spent extensive time and effort in educating the community on NFTs and crypto), Artnome aka Jason Bailey – a true cryptoart historian, WOCA collective (Women of CryptoArt) and artists like Robness, Max Osiris, MissalSimpson and many many more.
AA: What would you advise to other intermediaries and artists who are interested in becoming part of the community?
MA: I think I would advise anyone interested in knowing more about the space and how to approach it, whether it’s artists or intermediaries, is to educate themselves by learning from experts like the ones I mentioned above. Technology is the true innovation here, and it’s what get’s overlooked a lot of the times, but it’s what will become more and more invaluable as space grows.
Set-up at one of the Vertical Cryptoart artists picks for Rarible
Cover image: Hic et nunc x Friends x Vertical Cryptoart live stream