Ever since the introduction of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), more artists are selling their artworks virtually, and also showing their artworks in virtual art galleries.

The metaverse as we know it—a term coined by science fiction writer Neil Stephenson in his book Snow Crash to define a world where the virtual and reality meets on the internet—has exploded over the past year. Now, it’s a digital world where people appear as avatars, and where users live within a world that often incorporates blockchain technology. A few metaverse worlds are Decentraland, Roblox and Sandbox, to name a few (art galleries are jumping on board, too, and Art & Coffee is one art gallery hosting art exhibitions in the metaverse).

More artists are turning to digital platforms like the metaverse's Roblox, Decentraland, Sandbox, or Roblox, to showcase their latest digital art, much of which has a surrealistic spin. Here are six artists who are showing their work in the metaverse, to inspire you.

1. Laura Shoot

 
 
 
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Laura Shoot is a surrealist artist based in Buenos Aires who shows her artwork in the metaverse. "My art is a mix of fantasy and reality combined with a dreamy, ethereal and minimal aesthetic" she says. She sells her work on OpenSea as My Pink & Purple World, and many of her pieces are dreamy in nature with sparkles, reflected light and nightscapes in shades of fuchsia and lavender.

2. KAWS

 
 
 
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The famed street artist turned art icon, known for his Disney-esque cartoonish characters, recently showed his artworks in the metaverse with Serpentine Galleries. As part of a solo show called New Fiction, he created a skeletal figure who can run around the online world known as the role playing video game Fortnite, the same metaverse that hosted an Ariana Grande concert attended by 12 million players (Fortnite has over 400 million users).

3. Maylee Todd

The Toronto-based artist and musician created a musical album with Stones Throw Records that puts her skills as a virtual reality designer to use. For her album Maloo, she showcases a series of “science fiction lullabies,” which were created on the Teneri-on, a vintage Japanese electronic machine created in 2007 by Yamaha. “I’m always evolving,” she recently said. “With every album I release, there’s a new version of myself and new technologies that I get to explore.” She also works at Occupied VR, a VR production company that creates immersive technology.

4. LaTurbo Avedon

 
 
 
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This artist is an avatar, curator and designer, known for creating digital art since 2008, long before the metaverse hit the spotlight in pop culture. Avedon’s artwork aims to explore the “relationship between users and virtual environments” over the past decade, and created an exhibition called “Progress Will Be Saved” in the Virtual Factory, a virtual exhibition space that uses Fortnite Creative, to build the experience.

The world Avedon created has been called a “digital rabbit hole” where users enter a psychedelic, surrealistic realm that is covered in technicolor hues and strange experiences which the artist refers to as “the close-yet-far tension of being alone online, together.”

5. Cassie McQuater

 
 
 
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Keyhole Markup Language, coding for geographical landscapes, to create dreamy landscapes in Google Earth, the metaverse version of the planet, giving them a fantastica edge in brightly-hued colors and with abstract forms. “Once I began coding, I found I really enjoyed the idea of active participation in my work,” said the artist. “From there it was a natural leap to video games.”

6. VERSE

Imagine the Museum of Ice Cream, but the NFT version. This self-described "immersive NFT exhibit" with two locations (in San Francisco and Denver) allows guests to experience the metaverse through NFTs seen in augmented reality (VR glasses called the Microsoft HoloLens 2). It’s a space-age, surrealist world with floating characters, holographic landscapes and a color palette that calls to mind otherworldly planets with iridescent butterflies.

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