The recent craze for NFT PFPs inspired Saatchi Art to enlist over 150 artists to use a portrait of Van Gogh as a basis for creating thousands of “handmade” avatars
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NFT Profile Picture: be part of a community
In 2021, NFTs made headlines for the record sale of Beeple’s EVERDAYS: THE FIRST 5,000 DAYS at the beginning of the year. But it was also the hype generated around Profile Pictures (PFPs) during the summer that kept them in the conversation. PFPs are collectible NFTs in the form of avatars that tend to be composed of a group of traits assigned by an algorithm.
In Q3 2021, collectible NFTs accounted for 76% of the total USD sales volume. Initially the promise was that owners of these tokens would become part of a living community and be provided with additional utility. Unfortunately, many projects have taken advantage of this hype to offer NFTs that are created with very little effort.
Many in the NFT community, however, pushed for a more artistic, original approach to avatar projects to evolve. Today, new projects are being launched, encouraged by the drive for PFPs to be more thoughtful and above all, higher quality, than what was first seen during the summer of 2021.
This is precisely what Saatchi Art is doing with an NFT project that merges original art and the concept of digital collectibles.
Saatchi Art and the Democratization of the Art Market
Saatchi Art was founded over a decade ago on the principle of democratizing the fine art market and enabling art lovers around the world to discover art and artists they love.
Their chief curator, Rebecca Wilson, who was formerly a director at Saatchi Gallery, London—from which the platform takes their name despite now being independently owned—saw a huge need for supporting emerging artists and recognized an opportunity with the internet. Saatchi Art was born.
Today, Saatchi Art is home to over 3 million original artworks, by 110,000 emerging artists in over 140 countries worldwide. All uploaded artworks are reviewed by a team of curators and new collections organized by them are available every week.
Bolstered by their deep experience in the art market, an immense roster of international emerging artists, and an audience of collectors around the world, the natural evolution of Saatchi Art’s mission drove them to move into the NFT space.
NFT Profile Picture and Van Gogh Inspiration
This month, Saatchi Art is offering collectors a very original NFT drop. Indeed, rather than selling individual works, the NFTs sold will be produced by the collaboration of 154 global artists.
A portrait of Vincent Van Gogh is the basis for the series of original avatars, titled The Other Avatars, and each must also incorporate the following traits:
- Avatar Types (2)
- Directions (3)
- Backgrounds (11)
- Heads (21)
- Eyes (15)
- Facial Hair (6)
- Ears (5)
- Mouths (19)
- Clothes (15)
- Accessories (5)
Beyond being one-of-a-kind artworks by virtue of each artist’s unique style and approach, every avatar will also have the name of the artist who created it as a trait.
This means that even if two artists select the exact same set of traits for their avatar, the artworks will be different because of the artists’ name trait. Rarity will be determined by the artists’ own selections once all works are completed; the traits they chose the least will be the most rare. The project is overseen by Monty Preston, Saatchi Art’s Manager of Art Advisory and Curation.
Over 150 artists have been hand-selected by the Saatchi Art curation team and they hail from more than 35 countries, including Ghana, Croatia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The participating artists are working in mediums from digital media and collage to photography, oil painting, and beyond. Over 90% of participating artists for this drop are new to the NFT market and 50% of participating artists self-identify as women.
Another aspect of this drop that differentiates it from many other projects, is that the physical works will be available for purchase after the NFT drop. It will therefore be possible for collectors to purchase the NFT and the physical work separately.
What are the next steps?
To be able to participate in the drop, you need to register on the whitelist. Beginning January 9, reservations will be open to the waitlist at the price of 0.1 $ETH. It will not be possible to choose the work; rather they will be randomly assigned during minting.
If you’d prefer to wait and try to purchase a work from a specific artist, you can browse what is available on the secondary market (e.g. OpenSea) after the drop.
Aware of the environmental impact that Ethereum’s proof of work entails, Saatchi Art is committed to finding ways to offset the different emissions that will be generated by this drop. The choice of this blockchain was made for its security and staying power in the long term. Before the drop, you can explore the various styles and practices of the participating artists on saatchiart.com, as well as across their social networks