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ART & COLLECTABLES

From a jock in Colorado, to an aspiring actor in Wisconsin, ending up in LA as an NFT creator. This is Gino Loffredo.

A real life Hollywood story, with an added taste of NFTs.

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Gino grew up in a small town in Colorado, surrounded by some of the more known ski resorts in the area, such as Vail, Keystone, and Breckenridge. Since his dad was a ski instructor, he was also into sports at the time, until he moved to Wisconsin with his mom and two siblings when he was 11 years old. That was a significant change because that is when he got interested in acting and singing. After high school, Gino enrolled in the University of Minnesota to pursue a theatre degree. After the first semester, his acting agent asked him to journey to Los Angeles, where he auditioned for several movies, tv-series, and commercials. Realizing he enjoyed this kind of lifestyle, he told his mom he’s staying in Los Angeles and dropping out of college. Until this day, we still haven’t found out what her reaction was.

Soon after, Gino got acquainted with painting. He and his roommate at the time wanted to try something new, so one night, they just bought some canvases and random paints. They were new to it, so they each picked one color and just went to work. Gino picked red and ended up painting a surreal piece that ended up being pretty good, so his roommate told him, “he gotta keep this up.” So, as they say, the rest is history.

Over the years, he experimented with many different art styles. Still, the one that stayed with him the most is surrealism, which is very similar to the one he painted first, with his roommate Patrick Flueger, now one of the main characters in “Chicago P.D.,” the TV series. When asked where his inspiration comes from, Gino mentions Salvador Dali: “I remember seeing a poster of Dali’s “Persistence of Time’ piece in college, and it just spoke to me. I had never seen art like that before, and I felt like Dali was speaking my same language. It wasn’t till I started painting and drawing that I noticed my style resembled that of Dali’s.” Usually, he starts with a small square of the size 1inch x 1inch and keeps adding to it, going with the flow. His inspiration comes from books, music, podcasts, and even just listening to people’s conversations and then adding imagery to the words he’s hearing. “I’m always surprised on what the final figure turns out to be. Often, I feel like I am being led to draw a particular animal that speaks to where I am in my life. When the final image forms, I like to look up what that animal or figure means in different cultures and see how it relates to my life. Most of the time, it aligns with something that is going on in my life.”

“I believe that art is a healing mechanism for me, where each drawing is a therapy session where I get to layout my soul and dissect the intricacies of my life story and anything that is influencing it. People who take the time to look at my piece react very positively and keep finding new things in my creations. It’s what I appreciate the most when people hang out and interact with my art.”

He gained a larger audience when he started to do large-scale murals, and people were able to interact with his art through pictures, music videos, advertising, and more. His largest mural to date is “Love Wins” in Santa Monica, California, and it is 3,600 square feet of surface. It is on the corner of a low-income housing building on Pacific and Main St. The main image is of two hands coming from each side of the building to create a hand heart symbol on the corner of the building hovering over a sunset over the ocean. You can see the whole piece if you go to the opposite side of the intersection, where you can see both sides of the building. Inside the arms and hands is an intricate, surreal portrayal of Santa Monica and the community there. He had a ton of “nuggets” of different people passing by who wanted to either be in the mural or hoped with an idea to put into it. Gino says it felt like an actual community project, which brought many smiles to that area.

 “Love Wins” in Santa Monica, California

“The first Mural I did was also pretty big; I called it ‘L.A. love story.’ I was actually on my honeymoon when I was asked to do the wall. I thought I was working on a 10ft x 10ft wall on the picture they sent me. It ended up being about 24ft x 50ft wall. It was huge, and I had never worked on something this big.”

He ended up using a 1inch bristle brush to paint the whole thing because it was the tool that most closely felt like he was drawing. He learned a ton on that first mural; how to drive a lift, how to paint large scale, about different paints, time frames, working at night, pricing, and how great the experience was when you are painting outside for hours. That mural is still around today, and he got it through the non-profit organization called Beautify Earth. Murals have been a fantastic way to give back to the city he lives in.

During the pandemic, Gino joined TMFA (The Most Famous Artist) community to hang out and learn from other artists online. The community’s founder introduced him and other artists to NFTs when he proposed they get involved with an NFT project, celebrating Beeple selling an NFT at Christie’s Auction House by having 50 artists do digital renderings of a specific picture of him. They dropped the project on OpenSea, and it took off. Gino drew his style art on the face of Beeple he printed out and then just uploaded it into photoshop to desaturate it into a black and white piece. His piece was listed as the first NFT in the project. All his 100 editions sold out in 24 hours. Thus, a decision was made to list different colored editions of his piece as rare limited pieces with only 3-5 available for each colored edition. The “Rare Black Beeple” sold for 10 ETH, and the whole project itself earned almost half a million dollars in 4 days. That made Gino start researching NFTs for his solo work.

Since then, he dropped a few collections of NFTs as a solo artist, the first being the SurReals collection of drawings. These are some of his pen drawings with a solid color background to highlight each piece and give them different attributes. Each drawing is a limited edition of 100. The next drop he did, was his CryptoChameleons and his HODLS drop on Opensea. He started using his artwork and animating them as color-changing GIFs. The next one was a Crypto Gnomies Drop. He liked the pixel art that was trending and thought he would give it a shot. He was obsessed with Trolls when he was little and wanted to do something based on his collecting habits as a kid. He collects lawn gnomes now, and he thought he would combine the two and make a pixel collection based on this. Each gnome has different attributes, style, occupation, and colors. Gino even started making personalized gnomies for anyone who sends him a picture of themselves and their instagram.

The last drop he did is called MetaPunks. It’s a homage to the original crypto punks but juxtaposing his artwork with their faces. Each one is a look into the mind of what Gino thinks the psyche of that particular Crypto Punk is thinking about in the metaverse.

Gino sold quite a few NFTs already. He uses the money he has made off his drops to support and buy other artists’ NFTs and learn more about all the different capabilities NFTs can have. He’s been impressed with some of the projects he’s seen and is excited to add this tool more to his artistic life and to learn new ways to create more exciting art that would be amazing in the NFT world. “I am always looking to help, learn, and teach what I can to any artist entering this space. It’s been a great first few months for me, and I hope to meet more and more creators to see what else we can do. I love this NFT community, and I can’t wait to dive deeper into it.”

ART & COLLECTABLES

Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian luxury brand, has an NFT booth in SoHo

Customers can create and mint their own Ethereum-backed non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on OpenSea at a booth set up by Salvatore Ferragamo, an upscale clothing company with its headquarters in Florence, New York.

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The Salvatore Ferragamo concept store in the city’s SoHo neighborhood opened its doors on Friday, and the booth is a part of a bigger debut of the business. All visitors are eligible to receive free NFTs, which are limited to 256 in total. The brand will pay all associated costs up front to mint an NFT.

For the launch, the company is collaborating with artist Shxpir, who has previously created holographic handbags for businesses like Coach. Shxpir has produced 3D digital graphic elements for the NFTs for Salvatore Ferragamo.

Just one day after NFT, there will be a launch.

After a week of discussions about how fashion businesses may tap into the Web3 and NFT arena, NYC, a conference about non-fungible tokens in Times Square, comes to an end. Famous companies have lately debuted their own NFT collections, including Gucci, Prada, Bulgari, and many others.

Salvatore Ferragamo has previously entered the online space.

The company collaborated with Obsess, a virtual and augmented reality software platform that aids businesses in the establishment of interactive online storefronts and virtual experiences, last year. Customers could explore a virtual mansion that featured Ferragamo goods at the online store dubbed “House of Gifts.”

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ART & COLLECTABLES

The crypto decline may be used by Binance to increase its market share in NFT

Football fans will soon have the opportunity to buy “an iconic piece of sports history” thanks to a collaboration between Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance.

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CR7 is starting to participate in NFTs.

The football phenom revealed his exclusive collaboration with Binance today. The multi-year contract, according to Ronaldo, will provide fans the chance to “own an iconic piece of sports history” and take part in his Web3 community.

In a video, Ronaldo stated, “Today we are going to transform the NFT game and move football to the next level.”

The Binance-controlled exchange and the Binance Smart Chain are two of the largest elements of one of cryptocurrency’s largest ecosystems (BSC). With 407 different protocols built atop it and $5.92 billion in value locked, BSC is the second-most used blockchain (after Ethereum).

Binance has had trouble creating a thriving native NFT ecosystem despite these great figures. With only $79 million in total trade volume, PancakeSwap, the decentralized exchange and flagship protocol of Binance, ranks twenty out of the NFT markets (OpenSea and LooksRare, two Ethereum marketplaces, had respective trading volumes of $31.24 billion and $23.23 billion).

Therefore, the alliance with Ronaldo might be interpreted as an effort by Binance to add value to BSC and start growing the NFT market share of the blockchain. On this retweet of the formal announcement, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao “CZ” may have hinted as much: “Now, we start.”

This week saw the announcement of several noteworthy NFT partnerships, such as Pharell Williams’ recent appointment as Chief Brand Officer for the Doodles line.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

NHL Opens Hockey Collectibles NFT Marketplace

The NHL, along with its Alumni Association and Players’ Association, said on Thursday that it has joined with NFT platform Sweet to build a distinctive NFT marketplace and libraries of NFTs—individual blockchain tokens that denote ownership.

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The NHL’s market will fall between a full-fledged NFT trading platform and a website that enables momentary NFT drops, according to David Lehanski, the league’s executive vice president of business development and innovation.

By creating an NFT marketplace with exclusive releases, the NHL hopes to give fans a little bit of both. In preparation for the commencement of the 2022–2023 season, the NHL’s Sweet marketplace is anticipated to launch in October.

The NHL aims to gamify NFTs with “questing and collecting” components so that fans will interact and can be rewarded with benefits like other NFTs, according to Lehanski, who spoke to Decrypt.

Depending on a player’s performance, some of the NFTs will also be dynamic and alter over time. According to a statement, NFTs will also include “cinematic game highlights from past and present NHL seasons” or surprise packs of NFTs that may be seen in “3D interactive trophy rooms.”

Lehanski claimed that the NHL wasn’t yet ready to reveal which blockchain it would be constructing on. Though it might be on Polygon or Tezos if Sweet’s offerings are any indicator.

Lehanski stated, “We’re looking at everything,” and that the NHL’s top priorities in its search for a blockchain include “cheap gas expenses” and “environmental sustainability.”

The NHL is one of the most recent major professional sports leagues to enter the NFT market, following the NBA’s Top Shot NFTs, the NFL’s “play and own” NFT game, and MLB’s impending NFT contest.

Lehanski commented on the NHL’s approach to NFTs, saying, “There was clearly a lot of temptation to potentially moving very rapidly […] but we thought that was a little shortsighted.” He added that, in his opinion, spending the time to investigate indicators like fan behavior was worthwhile. Especially in relation to digital collectibles and gaming, NFTs have a long-term future as relevant and meaningful items for enthusiasts.

But according to Sweet CEO Tom Mizzone, the NHL’s NFTs won’t simply be targeted at hockey fans who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies; seasoned NFT collectors will also be able to participate in a way that feels natural to them.

It will undoubtedly appeal to that degen culture, he continued, but not to the extent that it excludes fancier consumer bases.

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