Punks Legacy Project Continues at Centre Pompidou
Noah Davis
5 minutes

CryptoPunk #110 will join their permanent collection

As part of the ongoing Punks Legacy Project, Yuga Labs is overjoyed to donate CryptoPunk #110 to the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou, alongside a beautiful Autoglyph donated by Larva Labs and other important NFT-based artworks from a diverse array of artists. This is a historic moment for our project, which aims to bring awareness to the provenance and cultural relevance of CryptoPunks.

Centre Pompidou is one of the greatest contemporary art institutions in the world, and visiting it when I was younger was a defining moment for me - even if I didn’t quite realize it at the time.

My family went on a vacation to Paris when I was 16, and my Mom scheduled just ONE day for touring all the big museums. We were supposed to visit the Musée d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre, in that order, all before sitting down for dinner. By the time we were en route to the Louvre, there was less than one hour to go until the museum closed. My Dad, my younger brother, decided we had had enough “culture” for the day, so we abandoned Mom and went in protest to feast on cheeseburgers at the McDonald’s on Rue de Rivoli. While Mom sprinted through, experiencing it in the absolute worst possible way (sprinting), the boys were guzzling Coca-Cola and chewing French (literally) fries at the mecca of American fast food. 

I remember passing the little digital camera we’d brought with us around the table, giggling snidely at the photos we’d snagged during our visit to the Pompidou. All three of us had behaved like total goblins, taking turns posing for the camera in front of the most ridiculous examples of twentieth century art we could find. We thought it was all hilarious. There’s a photo of me stroking my chin while staring into a Magritte portrait where the artist has replaced a woman’s face with, seemingly, her own nude torso. There is a photo of my brother and Dad pretending to be “lost” in a forest of Hans Bellmer sculptures, much the same fleshy aesthetic as the Magritte. And then there is the photo of us all standing, bewildered, under a snow shovel dangling from the ceiling, next to a bicycle wheel attached to a stool. I didn’t know then that we were mocking the legend Marcel Duchamp, nor did I know anything about Magritte, Bellmer or the various other artists who we savagely dismissed that day, many of whom would become demigods in my eyes soon thereafter. 

Point being: the Centre Pompidou is a museum whose collection is as intellectually and aesthetically challenging—and therefore deeply satisfying—as they come. Powerful modern art should be at the bleeding edge of culture; it's inherently messy and complex but also beautiful. 

So, it’s no surprise then that the Centre Pompidou will be the first major European art museum to collect NFTs—effectively, artworks that do not “exist" in the physical world. We look forward to celebrating the arrival of Punk #110 in style with our Parisian friends this spring, so stay tuned for details on any/all community-first festivities. It’s my hope that someday soon, plucky youths from around the world will experience the Pompidou’s Punk in much the same way as I first did Duchamp: with a profoundly giddy curiosity that plants the seed of fascination and maybe even a passionate lifelong obsession...