The 26th annual Webby Awards, which recognize “excellence on the Internet,” took a new turn this year with a nod to NFT art.
Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami was a winner "for his lifelong career creating experimental art, and for bringing his talents to the new frontier of NFT art, notably through his CloneX NFT drop with RTFKT Studios and his upcoming MURAKAMI.FLOWERS."
Murakami received the 2022 Webby Special Achievement Award "for his ingenious use of digital technologies and the Internet to push the boundaries of the art world and democratize contemporary art using blockchain technology—and for inspiring multiple generations of creatives," reads a statement from the Webby Awards. Adding, “What’s clear is that Murakami believes in the power of the internet to democratize art, and he’s now demonstrating that belief through NFT art and the metaverse."
NFT inventors Anil Dash and Kevin McCoy also were recognized with a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award "for developing a block-chain powered way for artists to own and monetize digital work, which laid the groundwork for what would be known as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)." The Webby notes that the pair "continue to advocate for the original purpose of NFTs: to empower artists with the ability to have agency over their work, monetize it, and protect it against plagiarism and appropriation."
A Webby for Best Content Series went to the Museum of Modern Art for its MoMA Photo Club, a social media challenge for amateur photographers to respond to exhibition themes.
National Geographic also again won multiple awards, including for Social, Best Photography and Design.