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ART & COLLECTABLES

New York, London, L.A. …This Artist Has Seen It All, As She Jumps In The NFT Boom

Karen Amy Finkel Fishof is the creator of #FamousFaces, a digital collection of NFT portraits with a touch of charity.

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Born in the Bronx, Karen was influenced by the New York art scene in the 1980s. In elementary school her art was chosen to be shown at City Hall in New Rochelle, NY. She was labeled as “gifted”, and her parents encouraged her artistic development enrolling her in painting and sculpture classes. She apprenticed under artist, Marylyn Dintenfass and was motivated by her work practice. Karen received a BFA in painting from Syracuse University including a year abroad at St. Martins School of Art, London, UK, creating photograms under the same professors as Gilbert and George.

Photograms

By pushing the boundaries of conventional black and white photography, she produces large scale, life size, and one-of-a-kind photograms. The work is thought-provoking, visually compelling and a challenge to norms grounded in integrity.

“I stage scenes on photo paper in the darkroom, expose them to light, and then develop them traditionally with black and white chemistry. Photograms provide the medium I need to tell my stories. Through them, I can communicate. I love the creative process of these works, from the exposure to the development. The magic of seeing the image appear when the photo paper is placed in the chemistry, knowing it was a moment captured with no negative, and the anticipation in the darkroom of seeing how various objects live in the light and how light wraps around them, fascinates me.” She then captures that living dance on 2D, still, photo paper. Unlike conventional photography, each piece is a one-of-a-kind, like a painting and bears a painterly feel.

She considers the process drawing with light. It gives her the strong imagery and narrative, with hidden subtleties. Each piece is premeditated to a degree with a window left open for spontaneous improvisation. From a pictorial standpoint, compositional organization is paramount.

“I start with what interests me, not just ideas, but the relationship between ideas.” Her work merges socio political content with sculptural, painterly objects in its own reality experience. The pieces are theatrical stills, each with its own story.

“I am influenced by all artistic mediums including interior design, film, music, fashion and social media. I’ve worked in all these areas professionally and draw from their current trends.”

Inspiration may come from current events, personal experiences or from found objects. Creating photograms allows her to collage these areas together into one cohesive image statement. 

Figures are not only in a physical space, but a psychological one as well. The characters are firmly planted in their own surreal, distorted space. All persons and objects serve a double role. Not only are they instruments in imagery, but also declare a statement about the medium itself. We are forced to recognize a new aspect of the person or object touching the surface, the form itself.

There is a presence that remains of the people and objects, sort of like when you see the handprints on the Hollywood “Walk of Fame”. You know that the person had physical contact with the paper, unlike conventional photography or portraiture. Not only are the figures actors in a drama, but they are also portraits of the models and reflect their inherent personalities.

“The work makes one cognizant of the relationship we have with objects. We almost always have an object in our hands, whether it be a phone, pen, fork, cup, remote control, gun, bible or flowers. We are dependent on them and they define us.”

Recent photograms explore contemporary issues of parenting, politics and the intersection of gender and religion, defining her identity, confronting stereotypes and moving between the secular and the sacred. The work engages the viewer to explore the definition of photography as well as examine their pre-existing ideas of the various content.

NFT Portraits

Karen hasn’t actually transitioned, but added NFTs to her creative arsenal. Aside from her BFA in painting, she also has a degree in computer graphics and have been working as a graphic designer for over 20 years. She had in the past, used those skills for helping brands promote themselves creating websites, logos, brochures etc. When she got wind of the NFT boom, she immediately went back to her love of color, pop art and a statement about celebrity.

“I’m at a point in my life where I really want to give back. There are so many needy people and so many worthwhile causes that it was hard to decide what to put my efforts behind.  I came up with an idea…”

Karen created an #NFT series called #FamousFaces and she’s donating a portion of the proceeds from each piece to a charity that she associates with that person. 

​She’s been working on #FamousFaces – a digital collection of NFT portraits while in lockdown. Her approach is to bridge the art with the Jewish concept of Maaser, giving a tenth of your earnings to charity. The works are slightly animated, living in the small space between a traditional portrait and a full blown animation. Employing a “close up” of the face, she has integrated the Jewish practice of “looking at the faces of the righteous” with the idea that looking at the faces of those with honorable traits, one will feel a sense of connection and in turn, that will imbue the onlooker with inspiration to obtain those positive attributes.

​The first collection of #FamousFaces (1-10) includes:(1) Notorious RBG – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (2) Imagine – John Lennon, (3) Dare, The Greta Effect – Greta Thunberg,  (4) Dave Stands Up – Dave Chappelle, (5) Let’s Talk About Sex – Dr. Ruth Westheimer, (6) Visionary Elon – Elon Musk, (7) Compassionate Oprah – Oprah Winfrey, (8) Art Takes Action – Ai Weiwei, (9) Girls Just Wanna Have An Education – Malala Yousafzai, (10) Truth, Justice and Nonviolent Resistance – Mahatma Gandhi.

“What do you want this piece to say and what is the best method to get that message across?” is what she always asks herself before creating an art piece.

Mod Wall Art

“It’s a funny thing when you’re an artist and you finally get a wall large enough to hang one of your own works on. That’s what happened to me when my husband and I purchased a house. For two years we sat looking at a blank wall over the sofa. I felt that none of the works I had done prior worked in the space, a space that I had decorated!”

​After seeking inspiration from various sources, it finally hit her. She has been creating such large scale, delicate art. The photograms require a truck to transport and expensive mounting of the photo paper to Sintra, an archival PVC board and then that gets mounted onto a wooden support frame. Beautiful in their own right, she had always thought of them as museum pieces. For her home (and to please her husband who loves color) she created Mod Wall Art.

“At first I designed the entire piece in photoshop and then, working backwards, I hand painted 27 wooden hexagons. That would be the first and last hand painted pieces.” Her fabricator who has been mounting her photograms came to one of her shows where she was also displaying some hexagons. He told her she could encase them in museum grade acrylic. They worked together to get the fabrication just right and Mod Wall Art was born.

What’s great about these pieces is that they can scale horizontally or vertically to fit any wall and still fit in a small space for transport. They look like floating glass. Karen has created hundreds of designs, incorporating various colors, patterns and themes as well as utilizing photos from nature, sports, music and the like. They can be created for bespoke, site-specific installations in any shape or size. 

​“These works allow me to utilize my ‘found object’ skills, while out and about I stop to capture an image as opposed to the photograms which are premeditated and staged.”

The final works are of course carefully curated and the vault of images she has amassed and have at the ready, permits her to collage the best images together to obtain sensational results.

Karen has designed window displays for Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Dress Barn Stores, and major music labels and fashioned licensed products for Kraft Foods, Simon Malls, Crayola, Nickelodeon, Imax, Cartoon Network and Gameboy after receiving a second degree in Graphic Design. 

Currently, Karen is active in the Los Angeles Arts scene, exhibiting frequently including, The Orange County Center For Contemporary Art, PhotoLA, The Other Art Fair by Saatchi and Solo Exhibitions at DNJ Gallery and UCLA, pushing the boundaries of conventional black and white photography, producing large scale, life-size, one-of-a-kind photograms, abstract modular hexagons for interior designers and digital NFT art for the metaverse.

ART & COLLECTABLES

NFT Show Europe was all about innovators of the Future of the Internet: web 3.0, metaverse, blockchain, and digital art

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Valencia, October 10th 2022: NFT Show Europe, the leading event on Web 3.0, Blockchain, Metaverse and Digital Art took place in the futuristic venue of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. From the 17th to the 18th of September 2022, #NFTSE attracted over 2300 visitors from 59 countries.

The show featured a packed conference programme with world-renowned speakers. Topics covered included the use of Blockchain and Web 3.0 oriented technologies in traditional businesses, gaming, sports, fashion, art and collectibles, among others.

First edition beyond expectations

“The event showcased the very best in European talent, demonstrating the unstoppable growth of these technologies and its potential in both business and artistic innovation.” explains Patrick Cyrus, Marketing Manager of #NFTSE22.

“We already count with the support of big players such as Tezos, Polkadot, Zeroframe, Crypto Page, Block Ape Scissors or Wert. All of us were equally impressed with the level of potential collaborations and we are already looking forward to the next edition.”

NFT Show beyond Europe

#NFTSE gathers some of the most influential companies and artists to discuss the latest trends and developments. The event was a major boost for the web 3.0 industry companies, fostering new partnerships and collaborations, which helped to solidify its position as a major meeting point in this world.

With visitors from 59 countries attending, the event showcased the latest in blockchain and web3 technologies and its potential applications in the real world.

The speaker line-up was formed by industry leaders such as Takayaki Suzuki, CEO of Metatokio and Esen Tümer, Founder of Metaverse Hub. Other notable speakers included Hide Uehara, Director of Business Development for Square Enix or Sam Hamilton, the Creative Director of Decentraland Foundation.

Showcasing more than 170 artworks by artists such as Zancan, Solimán López, Pablo Alpe, Ulysses, A.L. Crego or Jenni Pasanen, the art exhibition included exclusive minting by fxhash.com, workshops, interactive installations, panel discussions and XR experiences.

Conclusions & Trends

“Web 3.0 technologies provide a way for users to create and interact with digital assets in a virtual space. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize many industries, including gaming, art and finance. NFT Show Europe provided a platform for leading experts to share their insights on those industries in a futuristic business-art atmosphere.” adds Esen Tümer, Founder of MetaverseHub based in Turkey, Istambul.

NFTs and crypto are transforming the art industry by providing creators with a new way to monetize their work and by giving collectors a new way to invest in art. They can be used to track and prove ownership of everything from digital art to in-game items. One of the barriers is the acquisition of cryptocurrencies which is already approached by companies such as Wert.

“We enable the consumers to purchase NFTs with credit or debit cards just like normal or virtual goods … if you’re in the NFT, Generative Art and Web 3.0 space (NFTSE) is just the perfect spot to do that.” explains George Basiladze, Founder of Wert.io.

There is no doubt that the web 3.0 users have the potential to change the way we live, work and play. By harnessing the power of the internet, these technologies can help us to connect with others in new and innovative ways and help us to access information and services that were previously out of reach. With the right support and investment, web 3.0 content will help us to create a more inclusive and connected world.

The producers of NFT Show Europe are already planning the next stages for 2023.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Logan Paul’s unsuccessful NFT Investment: Over $620K to $10

Logan Paul, a well-known YouTuber, has lost millions of dollars as a result of the current crypto winter.

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Logan Paul, an American YouTuber, actor, and social media star, holds a $623,000 unrealized loss as a result of his investment in an NFT from the Azuki line.

Also unsuccessful is his involvement with cryptocurrency. The market collapse has reduced the value of his possessions by more than $500,000.

Losses in Logan Paul’s Critical Papers
The well-known YouTuber joined the cryptocurrency bandwagon last spring when the values of most assets were surging, just like many other people. A few months later, he spent almost $2.5 million on NFTs, joining the trend. The most expensive thing he bought was a piece from the Azuki collection, which cost him $623,000.

However, the YouTube celebrity has suffered significant financial losses as a result of the unstable state of the bitcoin market and the NFT niche, at least on paper. The Azuki NFT currently trades around $10, as Paul recently made known, a drastic decline that sparked debate in the cryptocurrency world.

Many Twitter users made fun of the celebrity for using non-fungible tokens to transact at a time when there was obviously excitement in the industry. Others asserted that digital collectibles are frauds and should not be purchased. Some, however, contend that the price decline is a result of the current bad market and that once the next bull run begins, the valuation will rise.

It’s important to note that the NFT transactions were booming at the time he purchased the things. OpenSea’s trade volume spiked to almost $500 million for a single day at one time last summer, but in recent months, it has struggled to reach $10 million.

Paul has added bitcoin and other alternative currency to his portfolio in addition to NFTs. He recently acknowledged that he had lost almost $500,000 on such investments when he first entered the ecosystem at its peak last year.

Unfortunately for others that followed suit, this year has seen a significant decline in the value of the cryptocurrency market, which now has a total valuation of less than $1 billion (down from $3 billion a year ago).

Millions are Lost by KSI
The British rapper JJ Olatunji, a.k.a. KSI, was another prominent YouTuber who was severely hurt by the crypto market decline.

When Terra’s native token, LUNA, began to fall in price in May, he took the chance to predict that the price will eventually rise again. When the asset was going for about $25, KSI invested $2.8 million of his wealth in it.

He had no idea that the token would keep declining and eventually fall to almost nothing, wiping away the rapper’s multi-million dollar investment.

KSI is a strong supporter of the cryptocurrency market, especially bitcoin. He claimed that BTC will be crucial to the monetary system of the future last year. The rapper continued, claiming that he would have given each UK citizen £100 worth of bitcoin if he were the Prime Minister.

BTC is the ideal investment vehicle in KSI’s opinion. He believes that after ten years, individuals who have some exposure to the asset will “be laughing”:

“I feel like a lot of people are trying to search for quick money like, ‘Oh, I want to get in and out,’ but they’re not really seeing that. I’m prepared to travel a considerable distance for this.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Ford is getting ready to enter the Metaverse with digital cars and NFTs

A month after the company announced significant personnel reductions, it has filed a trademark application covering its future initiatives in the Metaverse and NFT space.

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Ford Motor Company, an American automaker, has filed 19 trademark applications across its key automobile brands as it prepares to enter the realm of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse.

Mike Kondoudis, a trademark attorney licensed by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), disclosed in a tweet on Wednesday that the business had submitted a total of 19 trademark applications covering its car brands, including Mustang, Bronco, Lincoln, Explorer, and F-150 Lightning, among others.

The trademark applications include a projected online marketplace for NFTs and virtual versions of its businesses’ automobiles, trucks, vans, SUVs, and clothes.

Ford intends to produce digital images of its vehicles, SUVs, trucks, and vans that will be verified by NFTs, according to USPTO filings submitted by the automaker on September 2.

The business also disclosed plans for “downloadable virtual commodities,” or “computer programs,” that would include apparel, accessories, and parts for vehicles for usage in “online virtual environments,” such as virtual and augmented reality trade exhibitions.

Additionally, there are plans to develop an online marketplace for “others’ digital artwork” as well as “online retail shop services featuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital collectibles.”

Less than a month after Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley announced significant personnel reductions from its global workforce to decrease corporate expenses; Ford has decided to enter the Web3 area.

Ford isn’t the first automaker to enter the Metaverse market.

While premium automakers like Bentley and Lamborghini have already launched NFT collections, automakers including Nissan, Toyota, and Hyundai have indicated ambitions to enter the fast-expanding Metaverse market.

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