From its creation, Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine utilized some of the greatest illustrators of its time. Art Paul, the magazine’s inaugural art director and creator of the iconic Rabbit Head logo, laid the path for illustration legends like Ben Denison, Shel Silverstein, and Patrick Nagel to fill the pages with their takes on fiction, politics, and lifestyle articles and for modern illustrators like Marco Wagner, Diego Patino, and Matthew Lyons to continue that tradition. 2020 saw Playboy’s Spring issue end the magazine’s run on newsstands, with the company moving into a purely digital existence. For the new version of Playboy, the Playmates remained and the merchandising increased, and in early 2021 we began to see what would become of Playboy’s storied dedication to the visual arts.
For The 2021 BTC Miami event, Playboy teamed up with NFT marketplace SuperRare to curate a collection of NFTs celebrating the city and culture of Miami, crypto-currency, and the ever-familiar Rabbit Head logo. With The Miami Beach Art Collection, Playboy has captured the zeitgeist of the blockchain movement – the technology is there, deliriously rendered in photograph and modeled in animated 3D.
MBSJQ’s astronaut dances to the future, rek0de’s animated bunny towers above Miami itself — a beacon of what Playboy brings into the evolving digital landscape. Ayla El-Moussa’s Ride the Wave, a stunning self-portrait set in black and white. A nod to every woman to ever disrobe for Hefner’s creation, she embodies boldness and strength — the sheer beauty of self-ownership. El-Moussa is the sole keeper of her own skin. In Miami Day and Night, artist Jon Noorlander embraces the core ethos of the bon vivant. The jovial currency, the Bitcoin, makes the man and walks the walk, carefree with full-on joy with a shameless love of the silliness of possibilities the blockchain holds. And of course, Bunny Kathy in a triptych of vintage Playboy – sun-kissed in archival ‘70s haze. She faces the waves as an athletic Goddess, the perpetual Bunny.
Playboy has always been home to sexually vibrant luxury and innovation of thought, the sophisticated inspection of human creative endeavors and along with their announced NFT project Rabbitars, Playboy in the NFT space offers an open door to the party, an impossible invitation to peek inside the brain of Playboy.
The full collection in its animated glory can be seen at The Miami Beach Art Collection.