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The global pandemic has presented a challenging period for creatives around the world, with fine artists particularly hard-hit by gallery closures, curtailed travel, and cancelled exhibitions. Many digital artists have embraced the pandemic as an opportunity to engage more with the fast-growing community of NFT collectors.
Unfortunately, many talented artists who create art in the physical realm have been unable to reap any of the benefits of the ongoing NFT boom, with a clear divide between those who consider themselves fine artists and those who consider themselves NFT artists.
At the same time, the NFT and fine art collecting communities share little overlap — with the traditional art crowd struggling to come to grips with the value proposition of ownership rights to a publicly-accessible digital file. These distinctions may continue to dissolve over time, with NFTs gradually finding their way into the mainstream. Art giants have also signaled that NFT art is here to stay — though much apprehension still remains.
Bridging the Gap
The Invictus NFT Lab — backed by Invictus Capital, pioneers in the digital asset space who manage over $200 million of investor assets — recently unveiled its first NFT project that combines the best of Fine Art and Blockchain Tech.
The Out of Africa collection includes 100 unique NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain backed by (and redeemable for) real-world, physical artworks across a range of artistic mediums from some of Southern Africa’s top contemporary fine artists. The collection, which represents most participating artists’ first foray into the NFT space, will be sold via auction over February 2022.
Embracing the Power of Blockchain
The NFT Lab’s inaugural Out of Africa collection — a curated, historic collection of 100 physical artworks from 50 of Southern Africa’s most prominent contemporary artists — leverages the best features of both traditional fine art and blockchain technology and allows these artists to share in the benefits of the NFT world. The aim is to accelerate the transition of NFTs to the mainstream by appealing to both the traditional art collector, the modern NFT collector, and anybody in between.
The project will involve the auction of NFT representations of these physical artworks that act as a certificate of ownership of the original artwork, and entitle the holder to take delivery if they wish. These tasteful NFT representations will often incorporate animation, or other augmented reality features made possible by digitization. The auctions will be facilitated by the OpenSea NFT market, the world’s largest and most trusted NFT resale platform.
Participation in the auction will be contingent on holding one of 2,500 NFT tickets, or Posters, that can be purchased in the lead-up to the auctions or won via giveaways. These NFT tickets will also be digital representations of the physical artworks that form the collection, however, they will grant no right to take delivery and represent a more accessible entry point into the collection for those only wanting to dip their toes into the NFT world.
A secondary market in which holders can buy and sell these NFTs will exist on OpenSea. Excitingly, these Posters will have fundamental value through an interesting experiment: 10% of all revenue generated by the project, including ongoing royalty revenues on resales — will be used to periodically purchase and destroy Posters from the open market — making them scarce assets with intrinsic value outside of their collectible value.
A Diverse Cast of African Voices
No endeavour in the art world could be possible without artistic flair and talent. To this end, the NFT Lab has secured the participation of a number of high-profile contemporary Southern African artists that incorporate a diverse set of voices.
From Robert Slingsby’s use of ancient geometry to celebrate African heritage, Matthew Hindley’s poetic brushstrokes, Janko de Beer’s fantastical sculptures (with the King of Morocco a notable fan), Blessing Ngobeni’s inspiring story of redemption and his art’s brave socio-political commentary, or Olivié Keck’s pop-culture inspired whimsy, the strength of the region’s diversity — not only in culture but also artistic style — shines through.
The project is expected to kick off in earnest in January, starting with the distribution of the Poster NFTs that double as auction tickets. February will see the much-anticipated auctions for the Original NFTs in the collection.
Subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you never miss an update as the participating artists and artworks are unveiled over the coming month along with concrete dates for each project phase. If you’re hungry to learn more about this unique project, check out the technical details in the Litepaper. You can also track the project’s progression on Twitter or Instagram.
The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. The content was purely for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.