Crypto-art has taken off over the last year in the artworld and it is how many new artists are showcasing their work.
Most pieces of crypto-art are in the form of NFTs (Non-fungible tokens), which work in a similar way to bitcoins and other forms of crypto-currency that makes use of blockchain technology.
Each NFT, a form of digital file, is unique, holds its value and can not be changed. So no matter how many copies are made, the digital footprint it leaves behind makes sure it can be permanently authenticated.
They then have the sole right to display the asset or sell it on later.
Non-fungible describes something that has a unique value that makes it different, compared to something in the same attribute class and thus can not be interchanged. For example, paintings or cars etc are unique (non-fungible), if you borrowed a painting for an exhibition, it would not be acceptable to return any piece of art to the owner afterwards. Whereas money is fungible as different notes can hold the same value i.e. two £5 notes can be traded for one £10 note as they are worth the same.
One of the most famous NFT creators is American artist Beeple. Until October, the most the digital artist had ever sold a print for was $100 but he then was able to sell one of his collages as an NFT for $69 million.
This is increasingly becoming how art is shared and owned in the modern world. It is estimated that around £9 million was spent buying NFTs in December, with that number only increasing each month since.
Nathan, who runs Street Arts Hire Ltd in the city, has taken his first steps into this new world with a piece that will be auctioned off in the form of an NFT and a single print.
All proceeds will be donated to the NHS charities.
The artwork was created a couple of weeks ago in a controlled studio environment, to make sure no copies, other than the two that will be auctioned off, have been made.
The image itself shows two praying hands wearing surgical gloves painted in the colour of the rainbow, the colours adopted by supporters of the NHS during the pandemic.
Nathan said: “In one of the early lockdowns I was asked to do a painting that could be auctioned for the NHS, time wasn’t on my side so unfortunately it didn’t happen but the conceptual idea had been born.
“To make the painting more valuable, I had to control its existence so I had the idea of creating and destroying a painting down to a singular image.
“After seeing the popularity of Crypto art/NFTs, I have been considering how I could fit into this new art world and I saw it as a way to become my own artist again.
“With doing art for a job, it sometimes limits my ability to be an artist for myself, I’m always delivering projects for other people.
“I thought, I want to start creating art like the music that inspires me, art that provokes a conversation.
“I have been speaking to a fellow Peterborough-based artist Lee Mason, who is an expert in NFTs and digital art and decided to give it a go. I’m still getting my head around it but I know it’s how many artists are making some serious money.
“For me, however, at 35, I feel I have reached a point of contentment in life right now. I’m not rich, nor am I poor but I am happy with where I am so on that basis,I will be auctioning the two versions of this artwork to raise money for the NHS.
“All other still versions of the have been destroyed, controlling its existence to these images and the timelapse video on my Facebook page.”
To place a bid for the print, visit www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303992884604.
To bid for the NFT, visit foundation.app/IAMNyces/god-bless-the-nhs-34652.