Liquid Summer by PLAYBOY x Slimesunday

Liquid Summer by Playboy x Slimesunday will be released on May 4th exclusively on Nifty Gateway.
 

Artist Statement

This might be the most full-circle moment in my journey as Slimesunday. For years I have been creating collage art using torn-out pages from magazines I’ve collected. As I write this, there’s a massive stack of vintage PLAYBOY magazines sitting on my office bookshelf. Scattered throughout the shelf are titles like OMNI, High Times, Oui, and Zoom but PLAYBOY magazine immodestly out-stacks them all. It’s a magazine where the women photographed are presented as art. The female form has been depicted in various mediums for centuries by great painters and sculptors, but now a nude photograph has a different name, and something as natural as a nipple will get you banned from the internet. When I sat down to begin working on this collection I spent weeks searching PLAYBOY’s archives for my favorite images and learning more about the women featured and their stories. There are many themes throughout the collection including censorship, fine art and crypto, but as with anything Slimesunday, I wanted to present them in a new and provocative way. There is no better medium to accomplish this than through digital art. 

The Liquid Summer Collection:

"One Satoshi"

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Artist Notes

To represent the anonymity revolving around Satoshi, they have been represented as a fragmented figure. The name “Satoshi” being placed on something as common as a stamp or a magazine shows the mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies. 

Playboy Notes

Satoshi might be considered the King of Crypto, but he was preceded by the First Lady of the Internet. Playmate Lenna Sjööblom, the star of this April 1973 cover—and now Playboy’s first NFT cover—first appeared in the pages of PLAYBOY in an iconic 1972 pictorial photographed by Dwight Hooker. Lenna made such a big impression that her Centerfold image was adopted by researchers at the University of Southern California as a test photo that ultimately helped lay the foundations of JPEG and MPEG file formats, which later became the de facto standards of sharing images and videos online. Just like Satoshi’s fingerprints are on every blockchain transaction, every image on the internet can be traced back to Lenna’s image in PLAYBOY. “Forget breaking the internet,” PLAYBOY editors later recounted. “Lenna helped make it.” 

Rabbit Tales

Fun fact: Since PLAYBOY’s second issue in December 1954, a Rabbit of some kind has appeared on nearly every cover of PLAYBOY magazine—sometimes prominently, often cleverly hidden. Some are surprisingly hard to find, and editors often provided readers with a light-hearted clue in the beginning of each issue. Slimesunday agreed to help us continue the tradition by concealing our mischievous mascot in each NFT in the Liquid Summer Collection. Happy hunting.

Hidden Rabbit Head Clue: When it comes to making a lasting impression, our Rabbit doesn’t need anyone’s stamp of approval; he always nails it on his own.

Original Credits

April 1973 cover featuring November 1972 Playmate Lenna Sjööblom, photographed by Don Azuma. 

"Mosaic"

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Artist Notes

In recent history, the technique of pixelation has been used to remove details from parts of media that have been deemed inappropriate. The process renders parts of the final image into a blurry mosaic. In most instances, the final result reduces the quality of the final image. I wanted to preserve the beauty of the original photo while still commenting on a technical approach to censorship. 

Playboy Notes

“Mosaic” was one of the first pieces Slimesunday created for Liquid Summer, and it quickly cemented some of the key creative and conceptual throughlines that ripple throughout the collection: censorship, transformation, and a thoughtful balance between style and substance, to name a few. Although pixelation is usually associated with censorship, “Mosaic” challenges that preconception by fusing it with collage, and transforming the original photograph into a different version of itself.

Rabbit Tales

Fun fact: Since PLAYBOY’s second issue in December 1954, a Rabbit of some kind has appeared on nearly every cover of PLAYBOY magazine—sometimes prominently, often cleverly hidden. Some are surprisingly hard to find, and editors often provided readers with a light-hearted clue in the beginning of each issue. Slimesunday agreed to help us continue the tradition by concealing our mischievous mascot in each NFT in the Liquid Summer Collection. Happy hunting.

Hidden Rabbit Head Clue: Our Rabbit can always take the heat, but knows that cooling off can be just as sweet.

Original Credits

April 2018 Playmate  Nereyda Bird for the pictorial “Bird of Paradise.”  

"Liquid Summer"

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Artist Notes

This piece is named after the theme, “Liquid Summer” which embodies the creative direction of this drop. The beauty of nature and the female form have been seamlessly blended to produce a surreal composition. 

Playboy Notes

March 2019 Playmate Miki Hamano and photographer Ana Dias are recurring Playboy contributors who embody the spirit of the brand on both creative and personal levels, so it's fitting that their collaboration serves as the primary source material for the collection’s eponymous work. Aside from their obvious physical beauty, what stands out most about the original collaborators is how both exude a level of confidence that only comes from being comfortable in their own skin. As a result, they light up every room, or in this case, classic Playboy beach shoot, that they visit. 

Rabbit Tales

Fun fact: Since PLAYBOY’s second issue in December 1954, a Rabbit of some kind has appeared on nearly every cover of PLAYBOY magazine—sometimes prominently, often cleverly hidden (and in some cases—more than once). Some are surprisingly hard to find, and editors often provided readers with a light-hearted clue in the table of contents of each issue. Slimesunday agreed to help us continue the tradition by concealing our mischievous mascot in each NFT in the Liquid Summer Collection. Happy hunting.

Hidden Rabbit Head Clue: Whether daring to dive into deep waters or lounging luxuriously on the beach, our Rabbit isn’t afraid to make a repeat appearance. 

Original Credits

March 2019 Playmate Miki Hamano photographed by Ana Dias for the pictorial,  “Hey, Mickey!”

2021➩1861

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Artist Notes

Art is quickly evolving from a world that was once physical to one that is quickly becoming digitally native. This piece is a satirical look into the future by referencing the past. The background image used was “The Baths of Pompeii,” 1861 by Domenico Morelli.

Playboy Notes

It can be a challenge to comprehend NFTs in 2021, so imagine how the concept would have been received in 1861. In addition to the direct connection to Liquid Summer courtesy of Morelli’s dreamy bathing beauties, fused with a poolside image of 2015 Playmate Monica Sims, “2021-->1861” is a multi-era mashup that speaks to the fluidity of time, the liquidity of crypto, and the sometimes unbelievable evolution of technology itself.

Rabbit Tales

Fun fact: Since PLAYBOY’s second issue in December 1954, a Rabbit of some kind has appeared on nearly every cover of PLAYBOY magazine—sometimes prominently, often cleverly hidden. Some are surprisingly hard to find, and editors often provided readers with a light-hearted clue in the beginning of each issue. Slimesunday agreed to help us continue the tradition by concealing our mischievous mascot in each NFT in the Liquid Summer Collection. Happy hunting.

Hidden Rabbit Head Clue: When it comes to moving technology forward, our Rabbit knows the importance of keeping your eyes open—and your ears up.

Original Credits

September 2015 Playmate Monica Sims, photographed by Josh Ryan for the pictorial, “Into the Light.” 

"Redacted"

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Artist Notes

Tearing imagery is a consistent theme that appears in my artwork. Hand scanned images of tears were used and digitally blended in photoshop to complete the final image. Hidden throughout the artwork are censorship themed articles directly from the PLAYBOY Archives. Throughout my completed works, I find myself regularly recycling work from John William Godward, one of my favorite academic artists whose work is scattered throughout portions of this image.

Playboy Notes

“Redacted” marries two classic Playboy themes that are as relevant today as they were at the brand’s inception: fine art and freedom-of-speech. Since 1953, Playboy has been an advocate for creative expression both in and outside the pages of the magazine, beginning in the late 1950s, when the brand won a legal battle against the United States Postal Service for its attempt to block distribution of the publication on the grounds of obscenity. In 1962, the magazine introduced the Playboy Interview, a longstanding editorial series that has provided a pulpit for nearly 700 cultural figures and thought leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Bernie Sanders and Jemele Hill, to name just a few. “Redacted” pays its respects to this key component of Playboy’s DNA and the brand’s rich history in art and graphic design through collage material that features an article about a Reagan-era attempt to censor PLAYBOY, layered atop contemporary photography and illustration.

Rabbit Tales

Fun fact: Since PLAYBOY’s second issue in December 1954, a Rabbit of some kind has appeared on nearly every cover of PLAYBOY magazine—sometimes prominently, often cleverly hidden. Some are surprisingly hard to find, and editors often provided readers with a light-hearted clue in the beginning of each issue. Slimesunday agreed to help us continue the tradition by concealing our mischievous mascot in each NFT in the Liquid Summer Collection. Happy hunting.

Hidden Rabbit Head Clue: When it comes to standing up for free speech, our Rabbit firmly believes you should raise your fist and hodl on tight to your convictions.

Original Credits:

April 2018 Playmate  Nereyda Bird for the pictorial “Bird of Paradise.” Collage material from  “Defying the Anti-Porn Police” by  James R. Petersen , illustrated by  Rob Stites 

"Puzzled"

 

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Artist Notes

This is my second run of a “Puzzles” piece. The original concept of working with puzzle pieces was a way for me to trick the Instagram algorithm into not censoring my work. However, with this version I did the exact opposite and embraced the image while using the puzzle pieces to give it a playful feeling.

Playboy Notes

Inventive art direction has always set PLAYBOY apart. Clever cut-outs and puzzle-themed imagery, often born from the imagination of founding art director and Rabbit Head logo creator Arthur Paul, have made recurring appearances within the pages of the magazine and on some of its most iconic covers--some of which have been transformed into actual puzzles that have given readers a special way to take our Rabbit home. Slimesunday gives a digital nod to the tradition with this cheeky adaptation of an image from a 2000 pictorial shot in Fiji.  

Rabbit Tales

Fun fact: Since PLAYBOY’s second issue in December 1954, a Rabbit of some kind has appeared on nearly every cover of PLAYBOY magazine—sometimes prominently, often cleverly hidden. Some are surprisingly hard to find, and editors often provided readers with a light-hearted clue in the beginning of each issue. Slimesunday agreed to help us continue the tradition by concealing our mischievous mascot in each NFT in the Liquid Summer Collection. Happy hunting.

Hidden Rabbit Head Clue: Our Rabbit is no beach bum; he knows that without a strong backbone, beauty is only skin deep

Original Credits

August 1997 Playmate Kalin Olson, April 1997 Playmate Kelly Marie Monaco and January 1996 Playmate Victoria Fuller, photographed by Richard Fegley for the February 2000 pictorial, Wet Dreams

 

Curatorial Statement

Liquid Summer is the shared vision of Slimesunday and Playboy. 

Crypto and NFTs: these are the new frontiers of creative expression and cultural engagement, where the artistic artifacts of our collective past meet the next generation technology of the blockchain. For nearly 70 years, Playboy has worked to challenge the status quo and push society forward. Our pages have served as a platform for revolutionary ideas and as a canvas for the creative self-expression of the most exciting artists of our time.  For our first NFT collection, we knew we had to work with an artist who creates provocative commentary on the connection between the past and the future. A collaboration with the artist Slimesunday was the obvious partnership. Combining our boundary-pushing legacy with his powerful imagination and the innovative platform Nifty Gateway was an opportunity that could not be missed.

The concept of fluidity ripples throughout Liquid Summer in overt and nuanced ways. Drawing from our historic archives, infused with rich detail from Playboy lore, and informed by the NFT community, each collage by Slimesunday acts as a connection point that shows us just how fluid our world really is (with some easter eggs for fans along the way). Whether it be sexual expression, gender identity, freedom of speech, or the power of crypto, this collection shows us that the boundaries we’ve placed on our lives are all rapidly melting away.

Project Credits

Slimesunday

Slimesunday, Taren Smith, Devin Dube, Jori Teplitzky

Nifty Gateway

Ashley Ramos, Cortney Snyder, Miguel Romero, Carolyn Vadino

Playboy

Liz Suman, Rachel Webber, Christie Hartmann, Amy Kastner-Drown, Jamal Dauda, Zach Glass, Fiona Maynard, Kathy Conrad, Chris Riley, Ralph Faust, Terren Lin, Yasmin Coutinho, Andie Eisen, Helen Sibila, Bing Zhang, Tori Adams, Kate O’Brien, Lily Ferguson, Claire Gustavson, Joe Burger, Tom Punch, Tania Staykova, Ian Wallace. 

 How to Participate in the Liquid Summer Collection Sale

The Liquid Summer Collection sale will happen on May 4 exclusively on Nifty Gateway. To participate, create an account on Nifty Gateway. You can participate in the sale with cryptocurrency or a credit card (You must set up your credit card in advance).

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