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Olive Allen

Olive Allen, Journey through space & time & data, 2022, NFT

It’s a new World for the new type of heroes
Postmasters Gallery is thrilled to announce the first-ever solo show of NFT art pioneer Olive Allen. Titled “Welcome to the Metaverse” and occupying all 4500 square feet of the gallery space, the exhibition spans sculpture, installation, video and NFT artworks.

“Welcome to the Metaverse” will deconstruct the emergence of how immersive experiences are reshaping 21st century life. Olive Allen has created several new large-scale projects that will transform the gallery into an experiential playground, works that question how digital experience can be translated into the real world, radically altering how we see and interact with art, and ultimately connect with cultural communities both on and offline. 

Olive Allen is an artist with a greatly unconventional journey reflected in the theme and overall approach to the exhibition; she is moving away from a traditional white cube environment to create a video game-like journey for the viewer to become a part of the Metaverse. The exhibition reveals artist’s deep fascination with society and technology, and the future of this interaction. One of the less obvious underlying themes is the search for one’s own identity in the world that is so used to assigning labels and is quick to exclude those who don’t fit in the pre-assigned box.
 
Postmasters will be transformed into a veritable Metaverse kiosk, with products and brands tongue-and-cheekily critiquing the ways in which Web3 is being commodified. By looking at how the cyber-utopian ethos of Web3 and the Metaverse is merely a promise at this stage and still remains largely unrealized, Allen’s show attempts to develop a critical platform in which to analyze the emergence of new technologies. What the media of today may say about the cultures of tomorrow, the exhibition at Postmasters ultimately begs the question: Metaverse, but for whom? 
 

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Allen, who recently made headlines for burning her Russian passport in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and NFTing it to support humanitarian efforts in the war-ravaged country, has been at the forefront of art and crypto since 2016. 

Olive Allen is one of the earliest adopters of blockchain technology and a tech entrepreneur. She has created the concept of the NFT drop by calling her 2019 ”13 Dreadful and Disappointing Items” art collection release a “drop,” branding the items and making them available for 24 hours only. Drops are now a staple of the NFT space. She was a part of the first ever drops on sites like Nifty Gateway and Super Rare; Allen was also the only “NFT native” artist to be included in the first traditional gallery NFT show (Johann Koenig’s “Artist is Online” in Decentraland); her artwork was the first NFT sold at a major international art fair (Art Basel in Switzerland in 2021). 

Allen has carved a niche for herself as an artist not only interested in but also critical of crypto, using her voice and platform to call for greater gender equality in the space, all the while developing a thought-provoking aesthetic around timely topics and themes. Olive believes the work produced and released should be of the now. In the age of rapid social changes, of exponential technological growth, what are we looking forward to as humanity?  

Metaverse is not just the popular catchphrase and VC investment thesis, but truly is an escapist dream. A chance for a new life, a chance to restart. In this new world you can be anything, gravity does not hold you back. There are seemingly endless possibilities and multitude of paths. The Q is: are they of your own creation or you’re simply following someone else’s agenda. Everyone has a chance to design their world…or it is merely an illusion & Metaverse will be run by corporations seeking profits & feeding us entertainment in hopes to sell us products we don’t need. Despite the seriousness of the subject, there is still room for humor and childlike excitement. I choose to believe in the world of unlimited possibilities and curious juxtapositions. 

Olive Allen’s work has in the past been featured in the New York Times, Artnet News, La Repubblica, the Art Newspaper, CoinDesk, Cointelegraph, Decrypt, Whitewall, FAD Magazine and many others. 
 
According to journalist Howard Rapp, writing for the magazine Modern Professional:
 
Beyond the buzzwords, trends, and headlines sits crypto art trailblazer Olive Allen, forward-thinking digital artist, painter, and introspect. Allen’s work combines observational humor with introspection while touching on the very fabric that holds societies together. Her drops feature critical choices that must be made by collectors, moving experiences, and important social commentary people often overlook or are afraid to confront.
 
Founded in 1984 by Magda Sawon and Tamas Banovich, Postmasters Gallery will add Allen to their roster of pioneering artists like Eva and Franco Mattes, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Mark Dorf, Molly Crabapple and others. In May 2021 Postmasters launched their blockchain website PostmastersBLOCKCHAIN, an early and different voice in the tempestuous world of digital art NFTs. Olive Allen’s exhibition at Postmasters builds on their relationship with the artist, having recently shown her “Sheeple Punk” at Art Dubai in 2022.

OLIVE ALLEN Welcome to the Metaverse April 30 – May 28Opening Saturday, April 30, 6-9 pm

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