Ryder Ripps. It’s a name you’re probably sick of hearing now. And you’d probably rather he went away but the truth is double R has been at this art game longer than you’d imagine and NFTs are simply the latest internet curiosity he’s turned his very specific artistic gaze towards. And you might flinch hearing me calling him an artist but if you do your homework, and cast your disgust to one side, you’ll find a human who’’s made the internet his canvas or his brush, I’m never entirely sure, continually questioning our relationship with it through websites, memes, trolling, installations and everything in between.
The New York Times famously called him the consummate internet cool kid back in 2014. Vice was moved to defend his deeply controversial Art Whore installation where he invited two CraigsList Casual Encounters listees offering ‘sensual bodywork sessions’ to create art on camera. It was declared one of the most offensive projects of 2014 by Art F City. Then there was that whole saga with Zara Larsson and Azeallia Banks. He was her creative director, said some offensive things which Azealia then shared and then she dumped Ryder after being engaged to him for a solitary week. Not to diminish any of that but we’ve got a lot to cover.