Playboy and Sevens Foundation launch NFT exhibition series to support underrepresented digital artists

By: Daniela Kirova
Daniela Kirova
Daniela was born in Bulgaria, grew up in Chicago, and then moved to Michigan to attend the University of… read more.
on Sep 1, 2021
  • First instalment of series encourages artists to celebrate the power of diverse identities
  • Playboy will mint and return artists’ works as an NFT
  • Neither Sevens nor Playboy will receive any profit from the series

Playboy and Sevens Foundation have entered into a unique collaboration to create an NFT series in four parts, which will focus on speech, gender, sexuality, and other core Playboy editorial themes. The series will help support digital artists by letting them mint and sell their work through a new grant, facilitated by Sevens.

Pushing boundaries to embrace new art forms and celebrate diversity

The Art of Gender and Sexuality, which is the first instalment of the series, encourages artists to celebrate the power of diverse identities. Playboy was the first major erotic publication to put a trans person on its cover. Always pushing boundaries, the magazine is ready to embrace new forms of art and technology such as NFTs, as they have done with their recent debuts of the Miami Beach Art Collection and Liquid Summer Collection.

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Invezz talked to Liz Suman, Vice President of Art Curation and Editorial at Playboy and member of Playboy’s curatorial panel (see interview below), who said:

“As a woman working at Playboy, and as a female curator working in the digital art space, one of the things I’m most excited about is the opportunity to build on that legacy by working with more female artists and diverse voices. I can’t name an organization more dedicated to amplifying underrepresented digital artists than Sevens.”

Tim Kang, Sevens Developer, added on the collaboration:

“Sevens Foundation works to ensure social issues amidst new digital opportunities remain integral and fair for all participants of the global promise of blockchain. It is an important goal for us to elevate women and LGBTQ+ voices, and it is critical to do so within this burgeoning industry ensuring past cultures of cis-male pervasiveness is broken and creating healthy equality and understanding across a global scale is achieved.”

Playboy will mint NFT artworks for free

The submission period begins today and runs for one month. Playboy will mint and return artists’ works as an NFT. Neither Sevens nor Playboy will receive any profit. The fifty selected candidates’ works will be displayed at a Playboy x Sevens activation during the NFT NYC conference this November.

Interview with Liz Suman:

  • Playboy will mint works by 50 artists and give them exposure through its brand. The works will be showcased at a Playboy x Sevens activation during the NFT NYC conference in November. What are the criteria to award the grant?

We’re looking for original digital art that not only speaks to the exhibit’s central themes of gender and sexuality, but also celebrates diverse perspectives and encourages both the artists and viewers to step outside of their comfort zones and express themselves unapologetically.  We view this as an opportunity to work with creative, underrepresented artists and provide a platform for them to make their mark in the art world, all the while amplifying the ways gender and sexuality have and will continue to evolve. 

  • What is a notable example of a time Playboy has broken “cis-male pervasiveness”? Can you elaborate?

To give just one example that I have always loved,  In 1991, Caroline “Tula” Cossey became the first openly transgender woman to pose nude in Playboy. Flash forward three decades to our August 2019 Playmate Geena Rocero. Geena is an incredibly impressive activist and spokesperson for LGBTQ+ rights and the trans community, and this comment she made in her Playmate profile is a powerful example of how representation not only matters, but evolves and continues to connects us even as our conceptions of gender and sexuality change for the better:  “I remember looking at Caroline “Tula” Cossey—one of the first transgender supermodels, who was actually featured in PLAYBOY—and thinking, Wow, if she could do it, maybe I can as well. I wanted to be as sexy, beautiful and confident as she was.”

  • Beginning in the 1960s,  Playboy Philosophy addressed what late founder Hugh Hefner saw as American religious repression, censorship, sexuality, and all manner of personal freedoms. How does the brand’s current philosophy build on that?

As a lifestyle brand, Playboy continues to serve as a platform that challenges the status quo and pushes society forward. We promote personal freedom of all forms in our editorial pieces, clothing collaborations, self-care and wellness products in our Pleasure For All line, and most recently, NFT projects that build  on the brand’s legacy of being a creative incubator of diverse voices.

  • What would be some examples of Playboy’s core editorial themes (Speech, Equality, Gender and Sexuality, and Pleasure) being reflected in an NFT?

This represents the first of four NFT grant-exhibitions from Playboy and Sevens centered on Playboy’s editorial themes and we are excited to continue exploring speech, equality and pleasure with the three installments to come. Showcasing the breakdown of intersectionality, shifting gender norms, satirizing society’s implications on free speech are all examples of how digital artists could potentially  broadcast Playboy’s themes into the metaverse. That said, aside from the overarching theme, the call for submissions is intentionally open-ended because we view this as an opportunity to celebrate originality and freedom-of-expression.

  • Playboy will mint and return recipients’ artwork to them as an NFT, with Playboy and Sevens taking 0% of the profits. What will the profits go toward in that case?

To the artists!

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