As the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) market continues to expand, the inevitable influx of artists is already occurring. To help artists transition to the digital space, A new art agency (The NFT Art Agency) has launched.
Artists include José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros whose first piece goes live on 8th September, 2021.
It sounded like music to our ears as covering history-making events is a big part of what we do at E-Crypto News.
We reached out to Matt Kennedy, CEO of The NFT Art Agency. Here is what he had to say.
Matt Kennedy, CEO of The NFT Art Agency
Congratulations on your successful launch! What are the implications of your launch for the NFT space?
Thus far the NFT space has been a massive aggregate of individual artists – and mostly on marketplaces that have become oversaturated without much thought toward curation.
The NFT Art Agency is taking the classical Gallery-Artist model forward with a focus on high quality works from ground-breaking artists whose work is specifically suited to NFTs.
We provide a full package of services to our artists that includes all the grunt work of pitching, minting, and currency conversion but also provides marketing, advertising and curation.
Please, can you tell us more about the artists that are being featured during your launch?
INDECLINE are an anonymous art collective that have become world famous for their public art actions, many of which have been political (especially their Naked Trump statues and the Prison Cell installed in a suite at Trump Tower), but their core focus is on bringing attention to the downtrodden while shining a light on hypocrisy.
In that regard they are similar to José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros whose work is all about inclusivity and fair representation.
In Rodolfo’s case he uses well-known iconography to showcase it, which is why his artwork has become so meme-worthy from the earliest days of Instagram.
Ken Salter’s work is both beautiful and therapeutic and his NFTs can be used for private mediation practice and mindfulness.
He’s an incredible artist with a pedigree that connects to Jeff Koons and Disney theme parks.
When we begin launching the work of Panik Collective, whose work is both a celebration and critique of pop culture, and Howard Hallis, whose Picture of Everything is a thirteen-years-in-the-making lenticular pop art masterpiece on par with Beeple’s record-breaking First 5000 Days, it will be obvious that The NFT Art Agency isn’t just posting existing artwork as NFTs.
In all of these cases the work offered could only work as an NFT and the pride of ownership will reflect that.
Please, can you tell us the use-cases of NFTs you cover?
How do you think the emergence of NFTs can bring the consciousness of cryptocurrencies and their allied technologies to the world?
People utilize and benefit from art every day – sometimes without even realizing it. Beautiful architecture, fashion, film, and music are all around us, and it enriches our lives.
But there is no aesthetic in finance.
Up until now, the currency has been a means to an end, and NFTs as tradable commodities and bring aesthetics into commerce.
I think that as the general public sees that this is something in which they can participate, they will embrace it and that fundamentally means embracing cryptocurrency.
What are your favorite NFTs? Why are they so?
I love motion pieces, and I love pieces that take the familiar and make them other.
The unique NFTs that have been adapted from Jose Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros’ paintings bring them back to the thing that inspired them – animation, and that makes them completely different from his static paintings, but the power in his original ideas is still there and more prescient than ever.
I love that the owners of NFTs can walk around with a world-class art collection in their pockets and share them like baby pictures, which adds a bit more of a social component to devices that have perhaps made us less social.
Please, can you tell us more about how digital creativity will define the next decade?
Just as Film changed how we consider entertainment, and then Radio and Television helped to democratize culture, digital work is the first true artform of the internet, which provides a platform to instantly share and provides possibilities that other mediums did not.
There is an egalitarianism to digital art that provides a voice for the voiceless and an audience for and from even the most remote communities.
Do you think contemporary art can provide a basis for understanding humanity? What are your thoughts on this?
Art is inherently contemporary or it is irrelevant.
We can learn things about the culture writ large from every song, meme, and photograph because the mere posting of these things is a statement about the moment in which it was produced.
The best of things will carry universal themes within their surface message that will stick with us.
We are constantly reassessing films and books and giving them new relevance or critiquing them for being too in their own moment.
What motivated you guys to set up the NFT Art Agency?
We were really unhappy with the quality of what was out there and wanted to offer better options.
My experience in the gallery sphere for the past twenty+ years has given me access to extraordinary talent, and I wanted to share that.
What are the benefits of the pieces and artist ensemble to the world? What are they giving to us?
The artists on our roster all create art that challenges the status quo and that provides an opportunity for discussion and self-analysis.
What blockchains and digital ledgers are your NFTs stored on?
Our launch is on Foundation, which we chose for its Proof of Value rather than Proof of Work platform – because it leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
We have been in discussion with most of the top platforms and are monitoring each in their commitment to offering greener economic sustainability.
It will be best for NFTs in general when technology can close that gap between environmental impact and blockchain versatility.
What are the features and characteristics of your NFTs?
What we offer as an NFT that could not be exhibited in a traditional way, and so they are intuitively of the blockchain.
Do you have any allowance for commissions after the first sale or royalties? How does this work? Please, can you tell us more about this?
Royalties for artists are one of the most important aspects of NFTs and one absent from the art world in most other formats, so that has been a crucial component to our mission.
What are your thoughts on the regulation of the cryptocurrency space and their allied technologies?
Obviously there is a lot of money behind the banking industry and its many financial institutions, and that is the catalyst for most of the pushback.
Ironic when one considers how anti-regulation the stock market is, but not surprising that a monopoly would be very anti-competition.
It’s difficult to tax encrypted transactions which makes them hard to regulate, but when you see which politicians are against cryptocurrency you can also see who their donors are and how truly against autonomy most anti-crypto rhetoric really is.
How do you think NFTs and their allied technologies can help solve humanity’s problems especially in developing countries?
We’ve already seen how Bitcoin helped to fight ISIS in Syria, and how it saved lives when government backed fiat cash became insolvent, and that was only possible because it is decentralized.
NFTs can provide an income for residents in impoverished nations with high unemployment and low GDP. When NFT goes global, it will elevate creativity everywhere.
What do you think will be the impact of the NFT space on Generation Z?
That presupposes that they haven’t already been impacted.
The three options for escaping poverty have classically been Professional Sports, Fame, and Innovation. Fame was always limited to sports, stage, or screen.
Art has added a fourth option.
Speaking about generation Z what plans do you have for generation Z?
I think Gen Z has some plans of their own and I will continue to learn from them as I have from every generation. Relevance doesn’t come from teaching, it comes from learning.
What are the social messages behind your artist’s work? Please, can you give us examples?
INDECLINE wear their message on their sleeve: they are anti-fascist humanists.
Their pieces tend to target injustice. José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros’ message is 100% inclusivity; his pro LGBTQI messaging is overt and often witty.
Ken Salter’s work revolves around immergence while providing an opportunity for mindfulness.
It seeks an answer to the question, “What defines creation?” Panik Collective wants to demystify art and show that pop culture is a kind of aggregated art form that needs new context every once in a while.
Howard Hallis also embraces a love of what some might call “junk culture,” and his work elevates the joy that can be derived from fantasy.
How do you think the world will perceive the physical to digital shift where art is concerned? What are your thoughts on this?
I think that Guitars, pianos, and turntables are all valid musical instruments and I think that a painting you might hang on your wall is no different from a digital work you can keep on your phone if they generate an equal amount of joy for the audience.
One could say that digital work is more versatile since it encompasses traditions form all prior disciplines, and to be fair you can hang that screen on your wall if you want and instead showcasing only one work you can revolve works; you can exhibit an entire brick-and-mortar museum-worth of art on it.
In fact, you can better showcase the versatility of your taste if you aren’t limited to a set amount of wall space or square footage that a sculpture collection might occupy.
Do you have any secrets you want to tell us? Care to spill the beans?
We are at the ground floor for NFTs right now. Get involved.
If you had three wishes and a Genie that wants to make them come true what would they be for the NFT space?
I would wish for all platforms to retroactively transition over to replenishable energy built upon a negative carbon model that is good for the economy.
I would wish for a distribution of wealth that allows for perfectly balanced but merit-based equality built on the decentralized model that involves all residents of every country and at every social and economic stratum.
And selfishly, I would want to see a kind of art emerge that has not existed yet, something that I can’t even imagine –and I would want to share that with the world.