DUBAI: Visitors to the United Arab Emirates will not have failed to notice the larger-than-life geometric statues of gorillas, bears and turtles that have dotted the emirates in recent months. The 3D polygonal sculptures that can be found in restaurants like Nusr-Et at the Four Seasons, Jumeirah, or on the waterfront of the Burj Al-Arab are the brainchild of the Franco-Tunisian artist Idriss B .
The Dubai-based artist, who recently moved to the United Arab Emirates from France, has launched his own non-fungible tokens (NFTs) titled “Polyverse Art” – a collection of 11,000 digital animal sculptures with their own distinct names and personalities. The virtual works of art were launched on the Ethereum blockchain last month.
For those uninitiated to cryptography, an NFT is any digital file, be it GIF, JPEG, tweets, MP3, and MP4, to name a few. Each NFT has a serial number that proves ownership. You own the token and this information is stored on a blockchain, which is an unbreakable digital ledger.
The artist told Arab News he believes NFTs are the future of art, so it made sense for him to go in that direction.
“NFTs are part of the future and the art world will fully embrace this new medium,” he said.
As well as being a proud owner of Idriss B’s art in the Metaverse, crypto enthusiasts who purchase one of his NFTs also receive a physical work of art, in addition to real benefits such as exclusive access to private concerts, fashion shows, a gallery openings and NBA games, according to the artist’s website polyverseart.io.
Idriss B. is one of the growing number of artists embracing digital art. Even big auction houses such as Christies, international galleries and renowned exhibitions like Art Basel sell and trade NFTs.
The artist believes there are many benefits to owning one of his NFTs. “You can acquire a rare commodity while still having access to exclusive giveaways and interactive experiences,” he said.
Artists will also benefit from the launch of NFTs.
Mike Winkelmann – the digital artist known as Beeple – sold an NFT of his work “Everydays – The First 5000 Days” for $ 69 million at Christie’s, making it the third most expensive work ever produced by a living artist.
Prior to Christie’s auction in March, the highest price ever sold by Beeple was $ 100.
In addition to generating profits, artists and content creators can retain all of their copyrights and interact with a larger community.
“NFTs allow artists to connect directly with thousands of people,” said Idriss B. “It’s about being a part of something bigger.”