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ART & COLLECTABLES

Art Can Open Quite a Few Doors and Opportunities.

Just Ask Todd Williamson

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Todd grew up in a rural area in the South and used his artistic abilities to keep himself occupied as a kid. He had a rock band in high school and was sure he wanted to be a rock star till he left for college!  He attended Belmont University in Nashville, where he majored in music and the arts before moving to Los Angeles.

Growing up in such a rural area, he never imagined he could make a living as an artist. It was beyond what he thought was possible. Although Todd was lucky that his parents were supportive of him being an artist, he had to fight the small town idea of what this was.

In LA, he moved into a small apartment above Sunset Blvd and filled it with large paintings that he created in his spare time to keep the walls from being bare. Over time, people took notice. He began to sell them, and essential collectors started to buy them. At some point, he realized that it was time to be a full-time artist and see what would happen! Scary as hell to leave the security of a paying job for the arts.

Since that time, he has shown in over 125 exhibitions around the world, so it seems like it’s what the universe wanted him to do with his life. He has worked in China, Japan, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the UAE and has galleries in many major cities in the US.  “One of the most important things that have happened in my career was in 2019 when I was presented the Prize for Creativity award from the Pollock Krasner Foundation!” 

Todd mainly works with oils on canvas but has recently started experimenting with digital art and NFT’s.  His work is influenced a great deal by the Abstract Expressionists of the late ’60s and ’70s.

His paintings are generally large in scale and are created using many layers of oil. The thin layers allow a luminosity within the work, which creates emotions and spiritual depths that are very much a part of what he wants to convey in his career. 

“When I do shows, I ask social questions about who we as a society and to whom we give our power.  Who do we pay attention to, and if they use that power for good or to tear down society?” 

In his show Processional, at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which ended just before the pandemic began, he created seven large artworks where each represented a power broker in our world today.  Oprah, Elon Musk, AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), the Pope, Kylie Jenner, and Donald Trump.  Their personalities were discussed through the use of color and imagery. Todd used the color to show distinct parts of their characters, and a sword-like image discussed the life path they had chosen. Reds for passion and perseverance, blues for thought and the head, oranges for more primal emotions and characteristics. Todd collaborated with a composer on the exhibition (Greg Walter, UNCSA) to create a unique musical piece to heighten the experience so the emotions of the art could be heard.

“The NFT world strangely came to me!  I had a client who wanted to purchase many of my works and wanted to pay for them with an Idoneus token, an ETH-based token used in the luxury asset world. I knew nothing about ETH and spent eight months researching how to work with cryptocurrencies in my art sales.”

He loved the possibilities that digital and NFTs offered him as an artist and began experimenting with ideas on doing this.  He realized it was a progression of what he was already doing with his art, but it could open up new worlds and possibilities for what he could create! Todd used his paintings as a starting place for the digital work, then animated it and added sound. In recent months, he has been researching the effects of color and sound on the mind and incorporated this into his digital work.  Low-frequency color and sound have been shown to soothe anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and many other issues we deal with, especially as we are coming to the end of the pandemic era.

“Art has always been a catalyst to show the world itself.  Sometimes there is nothing more difficult than looking in a mirror.”

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ART & COLLECTABLES

NFTs are Changing the Collectibles Market by Reimagining Art

The market is expected to mature as more professionals enter the NFT space, making digital art a part of traditional collectibles.

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Throughout history, art has served as the greatest source of inspiration for many people. Trends evolve faster than ever in the age of cryptocurrency and the digitized world. For years, a number of artists have attempted to enter increasingly evolving playgrounds and claim a piece of the pie, but now is their moment.

The NFT craze has swept the industry, transforming visual artists and influential meme makers into millionaires. It’s difficult to predict when this euphoria will fade, but we’ll almost certainly see more market records and exciting experiments in this field before the hype train ends.

From a few pennies to a fortune

The market cap of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, has grown nearly tenfold between 2018 and 2020, indicating rapid growth. From small forums to the oldest auction houses, the transition was lightning quick. Christie’s has foreseen the trend and has launched successful NFT sales after successful NFT sales. Various artworks and collectibles have fetched six-figure sums — and more. The artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, recently set a new world record by paying over $69 million for a JPEG file. Is it possible that this might have been expected a few decades ago?

Nine rare CryptoPunks NTFs will be auctioned off at the world-famous auction house on May 11. The auction house exclaimed, “For the first time, 5,184 pixels worth of a groundbreaking NFT project will go up for auction at a conventional auction house.” The overall selling price is expected to be between $7 million and $9 million, but it may be even higher, given that one of these tokens sold for $7.5 million in March.

The new boom in the NFT market is exemplified by CryptoPunks. Matt Hall and John Watkinson, founders of the New York-based software company Larva Labs, started the project by creating 10,000 24×24 pixel photographs of people. It’s hard to believe that the project’s creators gave these NFTs away for free to members of the crypto group. After half a year, the price has risen to several thousand dollars, and these collectibles are now being sold for millions of dollars. What drives people to spend the equivalent of a garage full of luxury cars on unusual pixel digital art?

The excitement stems from the growing importance of cryptocurrencies around the world, as well as the fact that these limited editions are among the first collectibles on the crypto market.

The motivations were demonstrated by Tatiana Stiskina, an art historian and adviser:

“Even before Christie’s announced their sale on May 11, I wanted to buy a CryptoPunk. As a result, my husband and I purchased it the day Christie’s revealed the sale. Since CryptoPunks are created using an algorithm, they are a deeper symbol not only of cryptoart, but also of the tech industry. The algorithms are idolized by those who brought us everything relevant to hi-tech and home theater.”

Getting to the bottom of NFT’s popularity

What makes NFT merchandise so attractive and unique? Blockchain is a game-changing technology that affects almost every industry. The ownership record cannot be falsified, and NFTs cannot be copied and pasted. These tokens, which are operated by distributed ledger technology, are nonreplicable and cannot be substituted, with only one owner at a time. Despite being labeled “nonfungible,” NFTs are liquid and can be bought or sold on Ethereum-based markets due to their interchangeable features and fungibility.

CryptoPunks were among the first NFTs, launching on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017. These tokens are nonfungible since they follow the ERC-721 protocol standard, which means they are one-of-a-kind and cannot be replaced by another.

Why are some tokens worth pennies, while others gain tens of thousands of dollars in value, and still others are worth millions? The price is determined by analyzing the rarity of unique qualities that are valued in the crypto art and culture. Despite the fact that CryptoPunks have been the forerunners in the field, there are other examples that can rival their success. This sector, like any other lucrative opportunity, has become overcrowded with sharks looking to profit from the situation by defrauding customers and collectors. This pattern is unsurprising when you consider that the overall volume of NFT transactions quadrupled to $250 million last year.

A glimpse into the future

It’s impossible to say how long the anchor of NFTs will continue to entice wealthy investors. Some believe the bubble would burst sooner than the initial coin offering craze did. Right now, a fresh perspective combined with good taste can be able to make a difference and improve things. A new ship would arrive at the NFT’s blockchain harbor, promising such transformations.

The crypto world went nuts last week over a new NFT collectible project — The Bored Ape Yacht Club, a group of 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs living on the Ethereum blockchain — of one-of-a-kind digital collectibles that sold out on the primary market. This is an exciting project that tries to incorporate gamification and group elements, and it will be fascinating to see where it goes from here.

After just a few days, the Ksoids project, which debuted on April 22 as an NFT project, rocketed to the top of the OpenSea rankings. Over 900 of the 1,000 tickets were sold, but some are still available at auction. Ksoids are algorithmically unique creatures whose breath of fresh air and best-in-class imagination did not go unnoticed by digital art lovers, collectors, fans, and investors, calling it a true indie project. Ksoids are the first generative art of 3D characters who not only build their own world but also assist in the protection of ours. Orangutan Outreach, a charitable organization dedicated to saving orangutans in their natural habitat, will receive 20% of each sale.

The new Larva Labs NFT range has been the talk of the crypto world in recent days, with the public sale selling out in hours. A custom generative algorithm recorded on the Ethereum blockchain creates the Meebits, which are 20,000 unique 3D voxel characters. Larva Labs made a whopping $72,976,613 from the public offering, according to data from Dune Analytics.

What’s behind the digital collectibles craze?

Any new record in a highly speculative market becomes less remarkable than the previous one. People would still be able to pay exorbitant sums of money for experimental ideas simply to satisfy their curiosity or to stand out from the crowd.

NFTs are seen by some high-profile investors as a way to diversify their crypto portfolios and shape new types of elite clubs, and the majority of new market participants believe that digital art will become extremely expensive in the future. The only logical next step is for the market to mature and progress, as well as for professionals to step in and set quality standards.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

The Serie A Football League in Italy is releasing an NFT Collection

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Lega Serie A in Italy has teamed up with Crypto.com to launch an NFT series. The collection will be unveiled on May 19th at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia, where Atalanta will face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in the Coppa Italia final. Lega Serie A is the first football league to collaborate with an NFT and cryptocurrency platform.

Serie A’s chief executive, Luigi De Siervo, said, “We are the first football league in the world to sign an agreement in this new market, which is extremely creative and important.” Lega Serie A also confirmed that the collaboration would provide an exciting experience for millions of fans around the world, according to De Siervo.

Lega Serie A is one of the most well-known football leagues in the world, with over 9 million spectators at public stadiums and over 250 million viewers in Italy last season. Based in Hong Kong, Crypto.com have partnered with celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Boss Logic, and Mr Brainwash to launch their own NFT marketplace.

Details of Lega Serie A’s drop are yet to be revealed, stay tuned for the upcoming drop.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

The Estate of XXXTentacion Is Preparing to Release Unreleased Songs as NFTs

The estate of XXXTentacion is preserving the artist’s legacy by releasing a new compilation of unreleased songs as NFTs.

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The non-fungible tokens were created by XXXTentacion’s former manager Solomon “Sounds” Sobande and his estate, which is owned by his mother Cleopatra Bernard. Sobande notes that the five songs aren’t brand new, despite the fact that they were previously unreleased. They’re really from when X was a SoundCloud sensation.

“We never had the chance to monetize them or get them off-platform,” he told Rolling Stone, “

despite the fact that they were all popular on SoundCloud.” “Some of these songs are no longer available on his SoundCloud website. Just the shards of them are being re-posted. These were the songs that launched his career and paved the way for his meteoric rise.”

The NFTs will feature never-before-seen clips from X’s REVENGE Tour, which was the rapper’s last tour before he was killed, as well as commercially unreleased tracks. Stephen Bliss, the artist behind X’s favorite video game, Grand Theft Auto, will also design the artwork for the NFT.

The auction is scheduled to begin at noon ET on Monday and end at 12:00 p.m. ET on May 15. X was pending trial for allegations of domestic violence at the time of his death. As a result, YellowHeart will donate a part of the proceeds to the estate’s XXXFoundation as well as unnamed groups that help women who have been victims of domestic violence.

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