The same week that KAWS made an unexplained New York cover story, the Manhattan art world was once again brought to its knees by the explosion of Bored Apes in New York. Concrete jungle indeed!
In all honesty, what was going on with NFT.NYC at the same time, ApeFest 2022 wasn’t even the biggest eyesore in the city. It’s just that the proponents of digital fedoras were inescapable.
Sure, no one who actually lives in New York would have been bombarded by the screaming neon signs hoisted in Time’s Square, but Bored Ape graffiti and advertisements dotted the entire city, from district until district†
Thankfully, the June 20-23 infection was largely quarantined at the Chelsea Piers, but still, I caught no less than three different dudes wearing Ape shirts — one of whom wore breathtaking Bitcoin-branded sneakers, no less. – around city in one day.
ApeFest, now in its second year, is an annual event for the euphoric individuals who have Mutant and Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. If you don’t know them by name, you would definitely recognize them by the hookah-smoking chimpanzee drawings on their Twitter profile pictures.
Bored Ape guys tend to embarrass oneself good enough as it is, but ApeFest brings them all together for a thoroughly unpleasant event, one that you can only enter by holding one of the 10,000 sacred monkey NFTs.
Imagine The Gathering, but for people less cool than Juggalos and you have ApeFest.
The jokes write themselves – just check Twitter! — but the actual festivities aren’t really much to write home about.
You can buy burgers and coffee with monkeys stamped on them or you can diminish any sexual attraction you’ve had by throwing just for insiders monkey merchmaking your secret shame known to the world.
But only if you attended ApeFest 2022 IRL – otherwise you’ll have to pay hundreds of fiat dollars to buy scalpers to pretend you were attending an invitation party for people who paid six figures for chimpanzee doodles.
Famous guests at ApeFest included Timbaland, who plugged in a new crypto doohicky, and Amy Schumer, a truly inspired pick from the ApeFest booking agent.
Inexplicably, ApeFest also featured appearances from Eminem, The roots, future† Haim and Lil Babywhich sounds more like Coachella madlibs than an NFT party flanked by flip flops wearing chimpanzee inflatables.
Snoop Dogg was also featured, but Uncle Snoop has never been shy about doing paid gigs, so whatever.
Perhaps the saddest appearance was from LCD Soundsystem, the influential indie band so New York City that its 2011 farewell tour culminated in a sold-out Madison Square Garden set.
More than a decade later, a decidedly more defeated James Murphy and co. played “All My Friends” to a crowd of disinterested armchair investors on a gloomy Monday night. You are indeed bringing me down.