Controversial conceptual artist Ryder Ripps is embroiled in another issue! He has been openly criticizing Bored Ape Yacht Club for allegedly using “Nazi references and racist tropes.” Then, he said that he was speaking for the World of Women NFT collection in condemning BAYC. So now he is in hot water for trying to pit the two bluechip projects against each other.
Who is Ryder Ripps?
Before we break down the sequence of events, let’s talk about who Ryder Ripps is. Forbes included him in their 30 under 30 list for 2016. He made a splash in the art scene with his oil paintings based on model Adrienne Ho’s Instagram posts. He is also the creative director of the digital agency OKFocus, whose clients include Nike and Bruno Mars.
As Art-Net puts it, Ripps is a firebrand known as much for his creative collaborations with Grimes and Kanye West as he is for his own quasi-conceptualist—and often controversial—art practice. During the pandemic alone, he became a trending topic for his exploits. He claimed he redesigned the CIA logo then backtracked later, saying it was only a joke.
Ripps’ foray into NFTs is equally controversial. For example, he sold his audio sex tape with then-girlfriend Azealia Banks as an NFT. Now he is dragging the World of Women NFT project in his issues about BAYC.
Bored Ape Yacht Club vs. World of Women?
Last month, Ripps posted an extensive Twitter thread accusing BAYC’s co-founder Greg Solano aka Gargamel, of injecting Nazi references into the NFT project. His main argument is that Solano wrote his college thesis on a book by Roberto Bolaño titled 2666, which is about Nazi SS Doctor Hans Reiter. He argued that “it is not a stretch to assume the 10+ Nazi references in BAYC are not a coincidence.”
So why exactly is he trying to involve the World of Women NFT project in this fiasco? Ripps is a WoW NFT holder and he even uses it as his PFP on Twitter. In his bio, he also urged the NFT community to support ethical projects like WoW.
Then, he tweeted a bold statement claiming that he is representing the sentiments of the WoW community about his beef with BAYC. He wrote, “I think I speak for all @worldofwomennft members and fans when I say we stand against Bored Ape Yacht Club and their vile use of nazi references and racist tropes.”
His statements didn’t sit well with the community and automatically, fellow WoW holders refuted his statements. @JigsNFT tweeted back that, “@worldofwomennft was made for a positive impact for women in the space, nothing more than that. This NFT project will NOT be used for hate or standing against another project but will be used for empowerment and positive energy.” She then conclusively reiterated that Ripps is not a spokesperson of WoW.