Maybe you’ve recently heard the term “NFT.” It’s an acronym for non-fungible tokens. Say what?
It’s a curious trend that some people are paying big money for — a digital item that the buyer can’t even touch.
Art, music, video sequences and even collectables can be bought and sold as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and they are gaining in popularity.
Recently, the artist Beeple sold a work at Christie’s art auction for $69 million US. The first tweet ever sent, by Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey also recently sold as an NFT for almost $3 million.
The buyers don’t get a tangible piece of art, but they get to own the digital asset.
“When it comes to creating an asset or piece of artwork, or video game level, something that can be digitized, is what NFTs are all about,” explains technology expert Marc Saltzman. “And the whole investment world is salivating over the opportunity of buying something low and selling it high. Hence, the whole craze of NFTs lately, even though they’ve been around for about five years.”
Imagine the handwritten autograph you got from a celebrity when you were a kid. All your friends took a good look at it or even photocopied it, but the original was yours. Like a certificate of authenticity that a traditional painting comes with, an NFT is the same – but digital.
“The transaction is digital, it is on the blockchain which is an online ledger of checks and balances communally vetted by 10s of 1000s of computers around the world,” said Saltzman.
The growing interest in NFTs is creating a boost for the art industry.
Torontonian Gabriel Granatstein is curious about technology and does research in his spare time.
“I’m very interested in the blockchain and the cryptocurrencies and I’ve been reading and learning about NFTs and I called my mom and said you should put your work up as an NFT,” he said.
Granatstein’s mother is a traditional mixed-media artist in Montreal.
Lynda Schnieder Granatstein embraces new ways to create. She’s been using a drone to take photographs to provide a new perspective on local landscapes. She then composes large-scale paintings from those images and is eager to access new ways to share her work.
“I believe that when you learn new things, you grow. and I never want to stay still, I want to always keep learning,” she said.
She’s learned about NFTs, and with her son, now has a large Montreal cityscape up for bid on Rarible, a website that deals in digital art and collectables. The art piece that can hang on someone’s wall in their home can also be shared on their homepage for the world to see — it’s old school meets new technology.
Pointing at her art, Lynda explained her methods.
“If you were to look very closely in this, you would see many different layers of paper; etching paper and printed materials that I have glued on and painted over to provide the texture that I think enriches a painting.”
Her traditional, tangible, textured painting is one option, and the NFT is another.
Gabriel Granatstein mused about how we carry so much value in our pocket these days.
“I think we’ve moved away from a lot of tangible items. When you look at your phone now, you have your credit card on your phone, your ID, and now you can have art on your phone. When I was young, I used to collect baseball cards and now those are digital,” he said, laughing because digital baseball cards are much more convenient. “Now you don’t have to carry a suitcase full of baseball cards, which I’ve been carrying from house to house to house for the last 20 years.”
Maybe we need to think of an NFT as beautiful Bitcoin, a piece of crypto-art that the whole world can see, but you alone can own.
White House on defensive over Hunter Biden art sales – FRANCE 24
Issued on: 24/07/2021 – 01:08
The White House assured Friday that necessary ethical precautions would be taken around any exhibitions and sale of artwork by President Joe Biden’s son, whose personal life and professional career have been peppered with controversy.
Asked by reporters about upcoming exhibitions of Hunter Biden’s artwork in New York’s Georges Berges Gallery, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president’s son would be “attending gallery events.”
The discussions about sales “will be happening with the gallerist” and not Hunter Biden, she said.
“That is different than meeting with prospective buyers.”
Psaki had announced July 9 that a system had been established allowing Hunter Biden to practice his profession “within appropriate safeguards,” including the confidentiality of any transactions and no contact with buyers.
At exhibits of Hunter’s work, “the selling of his art will all happen through the gallerist and the names and individuals will be kept confidential,” she said.
When pressed that a buyer could simply tell the artist that he or she is purchasing his work, Psaki stressed that a strict rules structure will be in place.
“He will not know, we will not know who purchases his art,” she said.
Contacted by AFP, the gallery did not immediately provide any comment or details.
The Biden administration, which seeks to present itself as ethically unblemished, has been repeatedly questioned about the artistic career of the 51-year-old lawyer and businessman-turned-painter.
US media point out the obvious risks of businessmen or others purchasing the artwork with the sole aim of winning access to or influence with the White House.
Press reports have said the paintings by Biden, who has had no formal training, could sell for up to half a million dollars.
Hunter Biden is one of former president Donald Trump’s favorite targets.
During the 2020 presidential campaign Trump and his supporters regularly criticized Hunter Biden for his economic interests in Ukraine and China when his father was vice president under Barack Obama.
Hunter is also the target of a federal investigation into possible tax crimes.
In a memoir published earlier this year, the president’s youngest son recounted his struggle with addiction to cocaine and alcohol.
© 2021 AFP
Art exhibits return to Callander’s Alex Dufresne gallery – BayToday.ca
After a long hiatus, art shows are returning to the Alex Dufresne Gallery at the Callander Bay Heritage Museum this Saturday.
The works of Carole Davidson and Sara Carlin-Ball are highlighted in an exhibit entitled “Journeys to a Conversation with Nature.”
In a release promoting the show, Davidson and Carlin-Ball explain the “works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.”
Their goal in selecting the pieces for the exhibit is to capture “the luscious spectacular that is Nature, Muse, Essence,” and emphasize how these “inspire the audience to revision their place – their gratitude and responsibility – on this Earth.”
“It feels absolutely wonderful to have art back on the walls,” said Natasha Wiatr, the gallery’s curator.
The last show was this past April but did not last long before Covid regulations closed the event. Since then, “the walls have been empty.”
“We haven’t consistently had shows in what feels like so long,” she said, and is pleased to launch what will hopefully be a long stretch of exhibits.
Currently, the gallery is booked until 2023, “and we’ve added two more shows per year,” Wiatr explained.
“We see ourselves as a community-based gallery,” she said, and as such, strive to present as many local artists as possible.
The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 – 5:00 p.m.
The gallery can hold 14 people at once, and walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can also be booked ahead of time at www.mycallander.ca/gallery.
Staff remind to you please wear a mask when you visit and maintain social distance.
Admission to the museum is $5 for seniors and students, $4.50 for kids 6-12, free for children under 6 and adults pay $5.50. Family rate for 4 is $15. Entrance to the gallery is by donation.
Callander museum reopens with art show – The North Bay Nugget
The art show Journeys to a Conversation with Nature will reopen the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery Saturday.
The works of Carole Davidson and Sarah Carlin-Ball will remain on display to Aug. 20.
“There is an essential longing for life that erupts in a luscious spectacular that we call Nature,” the artists said in a statement.
“The human animal is a part of this longing for life that some might call a Muse – a Muse for artists of every passion and discipline. Artists are at the mercy of their muse and transcribe whatever is whispered to them about life, people, and the compelling natural environment they belong to.
“One may be a studied artist haphazardly trained while another may be an experimental soul, interpreting the ever-changing environment around her.”
Influenced by the gifts of their lives and the natural offerings around them, each artist interprets what touches her soul. Each piece of art tells a portion of her journey, calling to the viewer to look more closely at what life has to teach us.
Carlin-Ball’s muse slumbered as she was raising her children and working. As soon as she could make time, there was an explosion of experimentation driven by her mantra ‘What would happen if…?’
Mistakes happily romped with successes. Now, her careful, unique presentations interpret life and nature, and challenge one’s imagination.
As she learned of the melting of the muskeg and the possibility that Canada will soon lose that habitat and vibrant spring bloom, Carlin-Bell felt the compulsion to replicate that vital image with unexpected media: patinated and fired copper was punched and threaded through with fibre knotted to create the blooms and surface stems.
Eventually, the vibrant muskeg spring emerged.
For Davidson, nature was a refuge she quietly celebrated with natural and cultivated talent for art and writing. A busy and brief career in graphic design took over until disabling MS symptoms forced (or allowed) her to slow down.
She began a meditation practice to cope with symptoms and immediately began painting again.
Her creative work parallels her spiritual path and the subjects of her study get smaller and smaller as she has the opportunity to stop and notice. She finds joy in a yellow spider on a sunflower or a nest full of baby robins.
Together, their works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.
The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be booked ahead of time at www.mycallander.ca/gallery and the museum and gallery also welcome same-day walk-ins.
Those visiting are asked to wear a mask and social distance.
The museum and art gallery are located at 107 Lansdowne St. E., Callander.
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