“What do you do now that you’re wealthy beyond your wildest dreams? You’re going to hang out in a swamp club with a bunch of apes and get weird.” So states one of the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Created in April 2021, Bored Ape Yacht Club pieces have created a cultural maelstrom in the crypto world. Collectors not only laud the pieces for their visual aesthetics but the way in which the apes become a representation of identity and a golden pass into an exclusive club that sits at the beating heart of the wild, new island of crypto.
Bored Ape owners receive access to the yacht club, a private, exclusive online space. On their website, this place is imagined to be an island party pub in the depths of an alligator infested swamp, treasure chest of bananas and a neon pink light flashing FOMO in the window. Upon entering, there is an old-fashioned island dive bar with a jukebox and palm trees and a clawed hand in a glass case. Access to THE BATHROOM invites members to participate in a collaborative graffiti board, encouraging expletives and pixel drawings of what they expect to be predominantly phallic in nature.
In many ways, the club doffs the usual classy mores of traditional yacht clubs and recreates itself as a place that is mired in the dingy and swampy, but in this new world, there is something raw and beguiling. The apes wear mostly bored, aloof, or slightly dazed expressions in most of the renderings. Bored Ape 5062 dons a trippy captain hat with a bone tee and 3D glasses, a sort of mishmash of a sea captain returned from the dead and in search of a good movie to see. Death Bot 9557 is more alive with wide eyes and bubblegum in his otherwise bored, unshaven mouth, and 6690 smokes a bored cigar while sporting the island’s best fashion of Hawaiian shirt and flipped brim hat.
Throughout the collection, there is a range of emotion from bored to mildly surprised to aloof, indifferent, grinning psychotically, wild-eyed, eyes popping out of the head, and fast asleep. Representing a culture of the anti-culture with their defiant details, striking clothing, wayward expressions, shocking details, the Bored Ape collection capitalizes upon the spirit of the crypto gold rush by taking it in almost without batting an eye, and reveling in the madness and mayhem of the new order.