Queens+Kings by Hackatao

Queens+Kings by Hackatao

It’s Queens+Kings by Hackatao, a well-known and pioneering art couple that is known across the community for their iconic flat, tattoo-style pieces. This style is the result of two creative minds combining their unique visions. Hackatao was formed in 2007, entered NFT art in 2018, and had their breakthrough in 2020. Since then, their recognition has only grown.


Even though Hackatao is already undeniably successful, the couple doesn’t stay idle. They are innovators and their passion lies in their creations. Hence, it’s no wonder that a new project was bound to come. That project is Queens+Kings, and it’s set to launch this December.

Queens+Kings will be a new PFP (profile picture) project, featuring royal-like avatars with distinguishable traits in the typical Hackatao’s style. The project is launched in collaboration with NFT studios and is supported by Sotheby’s.

One of the most unique aspects about the project is the fact that collectors can swap traits of their avatars after they’re minted. The initial traits will be randomly allocated to algorithmically-generated avatars, but after that, it’s up to the owner, who can continue to customise their own avatar. All traits hold a different rarity and are unisex and interchangeable.

We chatted with Hackatao to get some more insights into the project.

How were the traits made? Handmade, AI?

“All traits are realized by Hackatao, without an assistant or a designer. Every single one is created by N, in the quintessential Hackatao flat style, reminiscent of and inspired by past artworks, drops and beloved collaborations of ours. One might be able to recognise some familiar elements within the many avatar compositions. In fact, there will be some surprises in the near future, for those who own works from which we’ve drawn inspiration for Queens+Kings.”

“S has created an 8000x8000 canvas inspired by NFT and the Cryptoverse, covered in our distinctive graphite patterns. These designs will also be appearing on the bodies and faces of some avatars, as the algorithm will randomly draw from this large digital canvas, selecting and allocating skins randomly. So, unique features will be created, algorithmically generated.”

How do you guys feel like this project will contribute to PFP projects as a whole and the NFT space? 

“We have approached this project, ever since the beginning, with a great desire to give form to something different and innovative, to create something that could bring the collector closer to us, as artists. By adding an inventive, ever-changing component to this PFP project and also, by using smart contracts as a creative tool and not solely as an artistic medium, we wish to allow for the collectors to actively engage in an artistic journey.”

“As if a monarchical power, bestowed by a deity upon the scene, has resulted in the algorithm imposing its own configuration. We want to contribute to the space by hacking this condition with Queens+Kings and like Prometheus we want to challenge the deity, subvert the established order and make ourselves sovereigns of our creative realm. In fact in Queens+Kings, each trait on an avatar is a real, single NFT, that you can disassemble, exchange, buy, sell and replace. With this project, we thus aspire to create a new dynamic ecosystem for PFPs. This is the substantial subversion of PFP.”

What role has your community played in the project thus far?

“The initial push for us to start working on an avatar project came from a dialogue with the Hackatao community on the Discord $WHALE server. These ideas and desires have accompanied us throughout the entire creation process (even if the community was not yet aware of the core mechanism!). The confrontation with our community was essential. With them, we discussed topics such as the dynamics of the drop and the criteria of whitelisting. Some have helped us in tracking all of our works on the blockchain while others have helped name the traits. Active involvement will surely continue in the coming months, as we have many ideas for the long-term advancement of the project.”

The project will launch with an exclusive twenty-four-hour Genesis Release, open only to Hackatao and Sotheby’s collectors as well as $MORK owners. Doing this, we wish to reward early Hackatao supporters as well as welcome people from the contemporary art world. 

Why the collaboration with Sotheby's?

“We were intrigued by the idea of collaborating with Sotheby’s, as their intention with this project is to educate the wider and contemporary art audience about the NFT space. Moreover, Sotheby’s is introducing crypto art and PFP to traditional art collections. In fact, 300 Queens+Kings will be available on Sotheby’s Metaverse and can also be purchased by credit card, reserved for collectors invited to participate in this continuous creative encounter by Sotheby’s.”

Unlike many other newer PFP projects, Queens+Kings has no roadmap. As Hackatao explains, “the roadmap is in our heads, we created a mechanism that feeds itself.”


Since there is no traditional roadmap, could you give us an idea of what to expect in the future from the project?

“The fact that traits are detachable and can be assembled and disassembled will allow us to plan dedicated trait-only drops in the near future. We are also planning to airdrop and distribute ultra-rare traits to collectors who own 1/1 Edition Hackatao works and to organize other similar operations as the project evolves. Finally, we have also already arranged for certain surprises, embedded in the smart contract, however, we are not going to reveal those just yet.”

What's been the biggest obstacle creating this project? 

“Obstacles are stimulating for us, as we tend to look for creative solutions when we encounter them. Without hurdles, where’s the fun?”

The release date for Queens+Kings is yet to be announced, but we expect it soon. Keep an eye out on Hackatao’s Twitter as well as on the website to stay in the loop.

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