NFTs and art: first art manifesto appears as D&G hit the ‘metaverse’

By Raffaele Redi

As the NFT market increasingly becomes a lucrative art form, one artist has struck back at the ‘metaverse’ with a manifesto

#FreeHawaii Photo: Cath Simard Photography Inc                                 
#FreeHawaii Photo: Cath Simard Photography Inc

The market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is growing, with daily sales recently hitting a record of over $2.2bn. Recently, Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana began its on the NFT ‘metaverse’ with a millionaire auction of its high-fashion digital-wear NFTs.

With the end of the auction still six days away, Dolce & Gabbana, ‘Dress from a Dream: Gold’ – one of nine rare pieces auctioned – is already set to be the sixth most expensive dress auctioned ever.

The last bid for a piece of wearable and sculptural art signed by the Italian luxury fashion house amounted to around $280,000 (or 95 wrapped ether, or wETH), while Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ Tour Jacket was sold for around $289,000 in 2012.

D&G were not the only one to succeed on the primary NFT market in the past 24 hours. Thousands of NFTs from golfing legend Tiger Wood sold out in just a few hours overnight. Their price went from just $12 to $1,500, while the 1959 Cadillac Superior “Ecto 1” Ghostbusters movie replica and the 1994 Toyota Supra from the movie The Fast & The Furious were sold, respectively, for $8,000 and $6,000.

Meanwhile, on the secondary market the Chromy Squiggle #2855, was purchased for $1.26m (ETH420), being the top sale in the last 24 hours. It was auctioned off for the first time around one month ago for just ETH0.035 more or less a hundred dollars.

As the NFT market grows, many of the artists who contribute to the images on the tokens are beginning to want a piece of the lucrative action. Some of these are artists who for the first time ever are actually receiving any royalties, even on second-hand sales, and are therefore beginning to striking back at what Dolce & Gabbana have dubbed the ‘metaverse’. 

Dress from a Dream: Gold. Collezione Genesi, Dolce&Gabbana
Dress from a Dream: Gold. Collezione Genesi, Dolce&Gabbana. Photo:

Artistic revolution: the first NFT ‘Manifesto’ by Canadian photographer Cath Simard

In the latest NFT revolution, the Canadian photographer Cath Simard, creator of an iconic image of Hawaii, has written the first NFT art ‘Manifesto’. The non-fungible-token #FreeHawaiiPhoto is the world’s first image to have its rights released after its 1/1 NFT was purchased on the platform SuperRare for ETH100, or around a whopping $300,000.

According to the Manifesto: “In October of 2017, this photo of a lonely road in Hawaii was captured by landscape photographer Cath Simard and shared on her Instagram account. The photo quickly became a viral sensation, being shared thousands of times on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and reached the front page of websites.

“Along the way, the original artist was very often not credited for the photo and never received a dollar of compensation for its usage.

“Today, after four years of chasing down social media accounts and companies for usage without credit or consent, the artist decided to choose another path and flip the script. While Intellectual Property is us battling to prove ownership of our creations, provenance is us having the ability to authenticate the original”.

“For the collector, this allows owning an iconic and viral image while sharing its use with the rest of the world. For other creatives, #FreeHawaiiPhoto represents an alternate path for traditional image licensing and usage rights”.

“We believe NFTs represent a world where restricting usage and chasing licensing rights might no longer be productive. This gives artists a way for anyone to enjoy their work while still receiving compensation for the dedication and artistic talent required to capture an iconic image like #FreeHawaiiPhoto. world, free to use, forever.”

Further reading: NFTs: Tiger Woods debuts as market records ‘monster’ sales

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