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Christie’s auctions World’s first fine art NFT

"ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK", an NFT (non-fungible token) (PRNewsfoto/Legrand Studio)
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Poetry is being sold for the first time as fine art through blockchain. So is an NFT video sequence including an iconic picture used by Banksy, which could provide a link to the artist’s real identity. Could this artistic medium open up lucrative career horizons for NFT and creative freelancers?

A poem by a bestselling British poet is being auctioned by Christie’s in New York as the world’s first fine art non-fungible token (NFT).  It’s the first time poetry is being sold as fine art through the medium of blockchain. The poet joins three other British artists in the high profile event including Peter Doig, Banksy and Damien Hirst. One of the NFTs, according to a theory, could represent a link to Banksy’s real identity.

What is an NFT (a non-fungible token)?

An NFT is a special type of cryptographic token (a unit of data) that represents something unique.   It can be in many forms including video, photos, and audio files and is stored on a digital ledger. Buying a one-of-a-kind NFT means you acquire the unerasable ownership record of that piece of work, access to that piece, and the right to sell on.

Who is Arch Hades?

The collaboration, Arcadia, has been created by poet Arch Hades, contemporary visual artist Andrés Reisinger and grammy-winning musician RAC.  The piece of film, which is over nine minutes long, is a poem illustrated by graphic art and brought alive with music. It explores the concepts of modern-day anxiety and loneliness as by-products of cultural and societal constructs.  

Acadia (estimate unknown) will be auctioned on Tuesday 9 November in Christie’s 21st Century Art Evening sale at the Rockefeller Centre.

Arch Hades (b. 1992) is an internationally bestselling poet from London, author of three anthologies – High Tide (2018), Fool’s Gold (2020), Paper Romance (2021). She also writes articles for national newspapers and gives lectures on poetry and philosophy (most recently being invited to speak about 21C existentialism at Oxford University).  

In the run-up to the sale, Arch will be performing the whole of Arcadia at an event in Brooklyn supported by Andrés and RAC.    

How much do NFTs sell for and how did the Arcadia idea begin?

“The idea for Arcadia came to RAC and I when we were admiring the works of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood at the National Portrait Gallery in London years ago,” said Hades.

André introduced me to the world of NFTs and we collaborated with the incredibly talented Andrés Reisinger (and we created a poem that was auctioned for $71,000 in March) and that’s when I knew the stars had aligned for our dream project to become a reality

Arch Hades

“I was rambling on about how much I adored the way John Everett Millais would illustrate scenes from Tennyson’s poetry, and André asked me a question I hadn’t considered – ‘what’s stopping us from doing the same?’

“Then during the pandemic, André introduced me to the world of NFTs and we collaborated with the incredibly talented Andrés Reisinger (and we created a poem that was auctioned for $71,000 in March) and that’s when I knew the stars had aligned for our dream project to become a reality – it was the right time, the right medium, with the right people, and the right platform. However the sale goes, this has already been the best.”  

Who is Andrés Reisinger?

Andrés Reisinger (b. 1990) is among the most sought-after digital artists of the 21C. Originally from Argentina, he now works out of his studio in Barcelona. His signature dream-like landscapes are sought after by collectors, brands and art galleries globally. Winner of the 2019 Architectural Digest Design Award, Reisinger continues to see success at auction, with recent works fetching up to half a million dollars (The Shipping, $450,000, Nifty Gateway, February 2021).  

Who is RAC?

RAC (André Allen Anjos) (b. 1985) is a Grammy Award-winning musician originally from Portugal, now based in Portland, Oregon. An early adopter of the NFT model since 2017, he is now widely considered to be an authority on the subject, most recently speaking about on the subject at MIT. He is the founder and director of ‘6 Digital’, an agency dedicated to advising the biggest artists and collectors in the field.

You can find out more about Arcadia through this Chrustie’s link: ARCH HADES (B. 1992), ANDRÉS REISINGER (B. 1990) and RAC (B. 1985) (christies.com)

 “Attack Attack Attack” and its link to Banksy

Attack Attack Attack by UNIKZ + ANDREW BAYLES is an NFT video sequence certified by Verisart including an original picture used by Banksy to create his most iconic stencil: “Rage, The Flower Thrower”. NFT include an Original Picture 50 x 60 cm printed on aluminium signed by the authors and the 4K video sequence.

“Attack Attack Attack” is also being auctioned and is a non-fungible token for sale on OpenSea, the world’s first and largest digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and NFTs.

This digital creation is an artwork co-signed by Unikz, a digital artist from Bristol and Andrew Bayles, a photographer from Leeds (UK). The two artists created a digital artwork that reveals a little more about the identity of the street artist Banksy.

This NFT is unique because it allows you to discover part of Banksy’s creative process. Indeed, the work, which is a digital video loop of 50 seconds, begins on the world-famous image of Banksy’s “Rage, the Flower Thrower” and then a picture representing a man throwing a molotov cocktail appears in overprinting. This photo, taken in Leeds (UK) in 1987, is obviously the base image that was used to make the famous Banksy stencil in 2005. 

The photo, taken in Leeds (UK) in 1987, is obviously the base image that was used to make the famous Banksy stencil in 2005. Banksy has recently tried unsuccessfully to register this artwork as his personal trademark.

The photo, shot by Andrew Bayles, was published in 1987 in an anarchist newspaper, called Attack Attack Attack, produced and distributed anonymously due to the radical information it contained. According to the artwork authors, only a member of the punk / anarchist movement in the late 1980s in England could have seen and used this image to create the famous stencil.

This relaunches the discussions about the past of Banksy. According to the artist’s official biography, he was only 12 years old in 1987. It’s hard to imagine him as a punk, at that age, reading anarchist newspapers. Coincidence? in 1988, a few months after the publication of the photo in “Attack, Attack, Attack” newspaper, Robert del Naja (born in 1965) created the trip-hop band, Massive Attack.

To see how bids are going on this work, follow this link to OpenSea. You will need a digital or crypto wallet to make a bid.

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