World Builder by Olive Allen

Olive Allen is a New York-based visual artist whose work is frequently featured in the NFT space where the pop cultural references in her art resonate with her audience. Allen invited Addie Wagenknecht to TIMEPieces.


Artist Statement

Title: World Builder

Olive Allen is a new media artist who uses strategies such as branding, “drops,” and gamification to offer a critical yet playful view on hype, the attention economy, and cultural mores. Through bright, colorful digital artworks composed of pop-cultural and nostalgic elements, Allen grabs attention and redirects it to today’s urgent issues. An early adopter of NFTs and cryptocurrency, Allen blends pop-cultural elements such as Pokemon cards, Furbies, and hypebeast staples with witty social criticism. Just like artists she admires, Takashi Murakami and Joyce Pensato, who deconstruct existing pop culture characters and icons as well as invent their own, Olive creates character series, such as HYPEBIRDS, UnBearables, or The Sheeplezzz. These pieces engage viewers in conceptual collecting gameplay with rules, statistics, and deft societal critique.

Olive believes the work produced and released should be of the now. The relevance and accessible symbolism of her artworks serve the attention economy well, but Allen embeds deeper meanings within her pieces that can be missed in the scroll. Therein lies the tension of the work: vying for attention in a like-based economy while simultaneously seeking depth and connection.

The wry, sardonic rules around the works are partly a performance by Allen. By setting up systems of engagement around her work, she compels her collectors the viewers to interact with her performance, participate in its meaning, and make decisions about their own values.


About the Artist

Olive Allen draws on her background in both fine arts and technology to create new media art that captures the internet culture of the new age and exposes systems of value. She is a cryptocurrency early adopter and one of the pioneers of the NFT space. She uses token-based digital works to create social commentary. Her approach gamifies digital art objects to engender performative, interactive relationships with her audience. She has exhibited with König Galerie (Berlin), Postmasters (New York), Nagel Draxler Gallery (Cologne), and Christie’s Auction House, among others. Her work has been written about in publications such as The New York Times, FAD Magazine, TheArtGorgeous Magazine, and CoinDesk.

@olive_allen | @IamOliveAllen |

View on OpenSea here.

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