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May 12, 2023

For the Love of Squiggles

Ahead of a special auction of unminted Chromie Squiggles, collectors share what Snowfro’s masterpiece means to them
Credit: Grant Riven Yun, Arrival (for Flamingo DAO), 2023. Courtesy of Flamingo DAO
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For the Love of Squiggles
We are pleased to announce that “Snowfro’s Squiggles: The Auction” has raised 149 ETH ($265,000) in support of The ALS Association.

Since its launch in November 2020, the Chromie Squiggle has become an icon of digital culture — the Web3 equivalent of the Nike Swoosh. Through its playful combination of overt simplicity and emergent possibility it has come to exemplify the new movement for long-form generative art, while lending the Art Blocks platform a universality fit for a global community. By christening a new market for code-based creativity, Snowfro’s grand gesture has also shone a light on generative art history, and the community of artists who paved the way. 

On May 23, Right Click Save is collaborating with VerticalCrypto Art to host a special charitable auction of ten unminted Squiggles in support of The ALS Association via The Giving Block. Following on from the success of Cure³ earlier this year, we are proud to join with Snowfro in continuing the cause of generative artists in fighting degenerative diseases. The ALS Association provides assistance for people with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), coordinating multidisciplinary care, fostering government partnerships, and enhancing quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. Ahead of this special auction — a rare chance at an unminted Chromie Squiggle — we caught up with a group of collectors to hear what their Squiggles mean to them.

“You oughta check out this new site and mint some Squiggles” advised early-to-Art Blocks collector, JDH. This was December 2020, and though I’d spent a few months exploring Web3, his message was inscrutable: What is minting? What’s a Squiggle? Huh? One week and several JDH helpline calls later, I minted Chromie Squiggle #5524 — a fuzzy stunner. But it wasn’t my first Squiggle. A week prior, JDH had transferred one to me stealthily as a gift and invitation to spend time with him in the nascent Art Blocks community. Very soon I was helping bdeuce with his first mint. 

Snowfro’s Chromie Squiggle has come to symbolize the tight-knit community that has sprung up around a shared passion for collecting generative art. It’s an invitation and all are welcome.

— Kate Hannah of Art Blocks

Snowfro, Chromie Squiggle #5524, 2021. Courtesy of Kate Hannah

History will look upon Snowfro as one of the most important artists of the entire digital art movement, if not the most important, and his Chromie Squiggle project as one of the movement’s most influential projects. As Art Blocks Project #0, the technical standards of the Chromie Squiggle have inspired an entire industry of generative artists, creative coders, and collector communities across the world.

The Chromie Squiggle stands alone as a unique visual marker for internet art, Web3 innovation, and global community formation.

On the surface, the Squiggle appears to be a basic, computer-generated, rainbow line. How can something so simple be art or valuable at all? Yet underneath the simplicity of the rainbow line lies a complex arrangement of blockchain-based randomness, origination, permanence, storage, and collector participation. The impact of the Chromie Squiggle cannot be overstated, and, over time, we’ll be able to draw a line straight back to the Squiggle as a collection and project on which on-chain generative media was both created and proliferated. 

— Derek Edwards

Snowfro, Chromie Squiggle #5053, 2020. Courtesy of Derek Edwards

For Flamingo DAO, Art Blocks has been on our radar from day zero, and many of us minted Chromies Squiggles on the first day. We’re lucky to count Snowfro, founder of Art Blocks and the artist behind the Squiggle, as one of our members. After watching him work on the project, having thought about the potential for on-chain generative art for years prior, it was a no-brainer to support. What made the project so special was how Snowfro demystified and made legible the value of on-chain art.

Among Flamingo’s collection are countless gems, including a perfect spectrum Chromie Squiggle #6222. Fast forward nearly three years from their release and we’re beginning to see Chromie Squiggles make their way into even more corners of culture. In fashion, gmoney’s 9dcc collaborated with Snowfro on special edition generative garments; in visual art, Grant Yun began incorporating Squiggles into his signature landscape digital paintings; while Jamie XX performed alongside an audio-reactive Squiggle in Marfa, Texas. Right now, a Squiggle even sits in the collection of LACMA, a major art institution, thanks to the work of Flamingo members and Cozomo de’ Medici. 

Squiggles are a beast unto themselves and stand outside everything else. When the project first launched, we believed in its potential, and it has been an honor to see more and more appreciators come to admire and understand Snowfro’s early contributions to gen art.  

— Flamingo DAO

I take inspiration from Snowfro’s founding statement that “this is my signature as an artist.” As we look across the space and note the authentic projects that have defined crypto art, we recognize Squiggles as an iconic project that represents crypto-native values and innovation. 

Now I have begun to use my Squiggle as my own signature, which brings more meaning to it for me as a collector. I take every opportunity to encourage other crypto natives, collectors, and OGs to do the same.  

When you sign a SAFT (simple agreement for future tokens), email, or other document with your Squiggle you signal something important — that you use crypto in your life the same way that using your CryptoPunk as your PFP on Twitter conveys membership of a very special club. I tip my hat to Snowfro’s founding thesis — that Squiggles are a crypto-native signature, which is an important utility to this vital work of art.

— Ryan Zurrer

Snowfro, Chromie Squiggle #9671, 2021. Courtesy of Ryan Zurrer

Chromie Squiggles are my favorite NFT project in any category. To me, they represent some of the core values of the crypto art space: optimism in technology, creator empowerment, the importance of community, and a sense of life as play. It’s rare to find a set that is as memorable, playful, historic, and innovative.

— Ben Roy

I love the Squiggles. I appreciate how they were the Art Blocks opening act, but mostly I enjoy the colors, the oscillations, the normals, the fuzzies, and the bolds. My first Squiggle was a clean, blue, normal squiggle. I love its shape, how the bottom is almost flat, and how the height decreases monotonically, like how a ball would bounce on a flat floor if it were dressed as a martlet.

My favorite Squiggle is my bold. I like the spectrum and its narrowing range. I love how the chubbiness of the strokes forces the bolds into a third dimension, while the other types, with their slender figures, lie flat against the picture plane.

— Edward Taylor

Snowfro, (Polaroid of) Chromie Squiggle #9627, 2022. Courtesy of Leila Khazaneh

Chromie Squiggle #9627 means the world to me. It captures the essence of my journey into collecting gen art, from the initial conviction that the project was just silly (“you paid what for that rainbow line?!!”) to the slow process of discovery (“it moves!”) to the burning desire to own one that spoke to me, and the regret of not waking up to the historical significance of the collection earlier.

And then magic happened: I met Snowfro at Art Basel in 2022, where he was minting a new batch of Squiggles with Venus over Manhattan. I told him I’d love to mint a new one but I couldn’t take the risk as I really wanted a fuzzy. He said I should go for a new mint, participate in the experience of performance and chance and discovery and delight. Have you heard him? He just lights up when he talks about the generative experience. 

I couldn’t resist, so I joined the list for a new mint and a few weeks later my output was revealed — Chromie Squiggle #9627 — fuzzy and spread!

— Leila Khazaneh

Snowfro, Chromie Squiggle #8353, 2021. Courtesy of Curated

Chromie Squiggles are the perfect symbol of generative art. They’re simple and approachable which makes art collecting fun. They have trait versatility and algorithmic determinism which highlights the importance of the blockchain to its creation. 

Squiggles have shown artists, collectors, and enjoyers what is possible and, in doing so, have spawned a new category of art that now sits in major museums around the world. 

The thrill we feel every time a new Squiggle goes through the minter is a testament to the movement that Snowfro and Art Blocks have created.

— Todd Goldberg and Andrew Jiang of Curated

Snowfro, Chromie Squiggle #9227, 2021. Courtesy of Adam Lindemann

Squiggles, of the Chromie variety, have always appealed to my sense of art, design, and technology. From the first time I heard Snowfro speak at a collector’s cocktail, I immediately thought of the Roy Lichtenstein “Brushstroke” paintings and felt that, yes, as a gallerist, I can stand behind this with confidence. 

Now, having staged four shows of Squiggles everywhere from New York to Miami to Basel, I’ve developed expertise and further appreciation for the test project that effectively launched Art Blocks and the entire development of generative art on the Internet.

My personal favorite Squiggle is the first one I owned — a black ribbed chosen for me by Erick. That’s the one I would use as my signature piece. Chromie Squiggles have become one of the foundation projects that built the NFT space, a seemingly simple gesture that is built with rarity, variety, and special features that keep the conversation and the collecting active and interesting. It’s been a breakthrough project and the most exciting news is there is more to come! 

— Adam Lindemann of Venus Over Manhattan

Snowfro, Chromie Squiggle #3211, 2020. Courtesy of Mara Calderon

Seeing Chromie Squiggles evolve and gain recognition has been a surreal experience. It’s gratifying to see the project mean so much to so many people, and to witness the impact of Erick’s creativity on both the art world and the blockchain community. I love seeing my Squiggle (and all Squiggles!) and feel that it represents me perfectly with its unique color spectrum and dynamic movement, reflecting my personal style and artistic preferences. 

For me, Squiggles capture the essence of Erick’s creative spirit, with its playful and lighthearted approach to color and form, and the endless variations that reflect his endless ideas.

— Mara Calderon

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Snowfro’s Squiggles: The Auction” will take place on Tuesday, May 23 from 5pm GMT / 12pm EST and will last for 24 hours, concluding Wednesday, May 24. The auction will take place online at