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The history of Playboy in the NFT collection by Slimesunday

Six artworks that blend the archive of the iconic magazine and digital art

The history of Playboy in the NFT collection by Slimesunday Six artworks that blend the archive of the iconic magazine and digital art

We remember Playboy for the playmates, the parties in the Mansion, and the iconic bunnies, but it was so much more. Among Gloria Steinem's boycotts and other several feminist protests, Hugh Hefner created a place in which to weave together eroticism - and why not, pornography - with socially and culturally relevant topics; Nabokov's stories such as interviews with Martin Luther King or Jimmy Carter. Playboy has always entertained and shocked society, trying to intercept the most attractive news, even in the artistic field, from the surreal shooting of Salvador Dalì on the December 1973 issue to the cover created by Andy Warhol for January 1986. 

With the circulating FOMO due to the growth of crypto-art, Playboy and the artist Mike Parisella, better known as Slimesunday, has created a new exclusive collection of digital art in NFT worksLiquid Summer, available on NiftyGateway. In preparation for the launch, they organized an exhibition in a virtual gallery in Decentraland’s Crypto Valley. The six works represent a fluid dialogue between Playboy's historical archive and the digital art of Slimesunday's provocative collages, and thus also recall the dualism between the analogue past and the new realities that are emerging in the blockchain. 

Fun Fact: Playboy's first Art Director was Arthur Paul, graphic designer and illustrator who gave shape to the unmistakable logo. Art Paul decided to insert a "different" rabbit in each cover of the magazine, sometimes clearly, others in more curious and hidden ways, triggering a hunt that has been going on since December 1954. Also in Liquid Summer Slimesunday has continued this tradition, Happy hunting.



Reinterpretation of the April 1973 cover with Lenna Sjööblom photographed by Don Azuma. The stamp here becomes a tribute to Satoshi Nakatomo, a pseudonym of the inventor (or, who knows, inventors) of Bitcoin. A mystical figure that becomes a common object, to demonstrate the spread of crypto in mainstream culture. On the 1973's cover at the top left, we read Entertainment for men, while in the version of Slimesunday it becomes Pleasure for all. In the same way, the One dollar price turns into One Satoshi - which, among other things, is a unit of measurement really used in the crypto world to define one-hundredth of a millionth of a bitcoin (100 million satoshi = 1 bitcoin). Lenna's first appearance on Playboy was in 1972, in a portrait of Dwight Hooker who gave her the nickname "First lady of the net": in fact it was among the most used in image processing tests, paving the way for the creation of JPEG and MPEG formats. 



With Bird of Paradise, the 2018 shooting with Nereyda Bird, Slimesunday thinks about the technique of pixelation and the use made of it in censorship. Here the pixel is concretized in a mosaic, reaffirming the dichotomy between real and virtual. 



Playmate Miki Hamano was photographed by Ana Dias in March 2019 and, here, she becomes the concept of the whole collection, in which the female figure is both subject and landscape in a surreal composition.


1861 → 2021

Monica Sims, playmate of September 2015, from the pool where she was photographed by Josh Ryan is transported to Domenico Morelli's work, "The Baths of Pompeii", in 1861. The “witch” on the right indicates that, if it is still difficult to explain the world of the blockchain today, it probably would have been considered as a witch's speech at the end of the 19th century.



Nereyda Bird, formerly in MOSAIC, returns portrayed in another work that deals with censorship, art and freedom of speech. The collage blends classical works by John William Godward, the article Defying the Anti-Porn Police, and also Slimesunday's tears. 



Slimesunday has already used the trick of the puzzle to prevent Instagram from removing his posts, but in Puzzled he doesn't use it to censor nudes, on the contrary, it's a playful way to highlight the models Kalin Olson, Kelly Marie Monaco and Victoria Fuller, photographed in Fiji in 2000 by Richard Fegley. The puzzle had also been used multiple times by Art Paul in his graphics and has been so successful that Playboy really released Playmates puzzles in the 1960s.