Your Guide to Photography in the Metaverse
The Big News
Photographer of the Week
Tanya Spasi Sohrani
Editions are Coming
Zak Krevitt - Shredders
Photographic artist Zak Krevitt released a new generative photography collection titled Shredders this week. The work comprises 150 algorithmic variations of the same image, and is the latest in the growing lineage of photographers who are engaging in new, blockchain-based visual practices. Krevitt offered the collection as a free mint to collectors, and royalties from secondary sales are donated to Krevitt’s Museum of Queer, a decentralized museum project that celebrates queer arts and culture in the NFT space.
Adaeze Okaro - lyanga
Abuja, Nigeria-based Adaeze Okaro is a self-taught photographer exploring the worlds of portraiture, fashion, and fine art, and much of her work aims to dispel and subvert stereotypes of Black women. Her recent drop, titled lyanga is a small collection of portraits inspired by her own mother’s fashion identity from the 70s and 80s.
The Big News
This week it was announced that Getty Images is preparing its Web3 entry in partnership with Candy Digital. The news marks a major entry into the NFT photography space, as Getty holds the rights to nearly 500 million images and is a significant global presence as a distributor of photography rights and licenses.
In the announcement, it’s stated that Getty’s plans are to release NFTs of rare analog works alongside contemporary images covering worlds of art, culture, and world events. This comes as the company’s chief competitor, the Associated Press, earlier this year launched its own NFT platform to monetize photojournalistic work from their own deep archive.
It’s difficult to speculate on how the market will embrace Getty’s offerings, as the AP’s platform has so far seen little traction in terms of sales and popularity. However, with an enormous archive of well-known photographs at their disposal, Getty’s entry will be something to keep an eye on, particularly as more and more large institutions look toward the NFT space as a potential market for existing photographic IP holdings. Regardless of the success of the upcoming platform, it signals greater competition for independent photographers, and the next step toward deepening saturation in the NFT photography space. In short, the institutions are coming.
Assembly continues its regular schedule of weekly drops next week with a new collection of work by Klea McKenna, in collaboration with the artist’s gallery, EUQINOM. The collection is titled Rainbow Bruise and features composited work of handmade analog photograms that reflect on ideas of the female body and its relationships to artifacts, consumer goods, and art-historical motifs. The collection can be previewed on Assembly’s website.
Fellowship announced two new acquisitions for its permanent collection over the last week. The first is a selection of 6 works from Summer Wagner’s The Parody of a Tangled Thread, a series that explores ideas of the subconscious as it relates to time, memory, and landscape.
Obscura’s latest Curated drop is by Jim Goldberg, an innovative documentary photographer whose work has been exhibited and collected by Museum of Modern Art, SFMoMA, and LACMA, among many more prominent institutions.
Goldberg’s Whirlpool documents a small working-class town in Arkansas, and examines the history, culture, and politics through a variety of image-making strategies that range from straight documentary to collaborations with his portrait subjects.
For the first time in a while, RAW has not made any new acquisitions in the past week. The DAO is currently finalizing voting for its third round of community curation, which will determine the next three artists/projects it purchases for its collection.
Meanwhile, RAW is working on plans for an event at NFT NYC next month, and has created a sign-up form for those interested in receiving information when it drops.
RAW also announced the first episode of its new podcast, RAW Review, which will feature conversations between artists and DAO members. The first episode features Justin Aversano, and it can be listened to here.
Quantum’s next curated drop occurs on May 26th, and features a collection titled Back to Light by Maine-based photographer Caleb Charland, who constructs images using everyday objects to explore ideas of scientific curiosity.
Quantum is also preparing for the opening of Quantum Space LA, its physical NFT gallery space in Santa Monica that will serve as a community hub and exhibition space for future collection drops and events. The opening will occur on June 3, and will kick off a 3-day launch party that includes live mints, public get-togethers, and an immersion room experience.
Photographer of the Week: Tanya Spasi Sohrani
Ukrainian photographer Tanya Spasi Sohrani is a self-described “Kitch Art Photographer” whose practice utilizes performance, theatricality, and irreverent humor. Sohrani’s most recent drop, Glue, Paper, Scissors, is predicated on the use of common materials like cardboard and plastic bags to construct crude costumes that transform her subjects (mostly her own parents) into surrealist and absurd figures that teeter between decadence, kitch, and absurdity.
PhotoVerso: Can you tell us about your background as a photographer?
Tanya Spasi Sohrani: I started taking pictures when the coronavirus quarantine began. I was sitting at home, and to amuse myself I started taking pictures of objects. Later I started making costumes and masks because I was too shy to work with stylists and makeup artists. My first models were my parents, on them I tried on my first costumes
PhotoVerso: What inspires you as a photographer and what do you hope audiences take away from your work?
Tanya Spasi Sohrani: I am inspired by everything I see around me, from a beautiful sunset to a pile of garbage. Right now I most enjoy making masks and costumes out of simple and accessible materials Don't be afraid to be funny, do what you like, believe in what you do, and be yourself. That's what my works is about.
PhotoVerso: What's the scoop with your latest NFT drop?
Tanya Spasi Sohrani: The main idea of my new collection is that always and everywhere, in any situation, you can create a stunning image and surprise your neighbors while being photographed on the street in a costume made of plastic bags. No bags? Use cardboard boxes! Use anything you see! (And don't be afraid to be funny, laughter prolongs life!)
Collector’s Corner: Editions are Coming
As the NFT market continues it’s contraction in step with larger macro-economic conditions, and as photographers continue to enter the space at far higher rates than new collectors, we’ve begun to see the beginnings of a shift in the NFT photography market.
With tightening budgets and more competition among photographers, we’re likely to see the rise of editioned NFT photographs as a means to offer more affordable price points for collections to acquire work. While photography collecting to this point has valued the 1/1s that have typically been the standard set by platforms like Foundation and SuperRare, the recent successes of editioned offerings by platforms like Imag3Aid, and artists like Reuben Wu and Drifter Shoots have begun to calibrate an acceptance of NFTs produced in multiples.
For collectors, it’s not realistic to presume that budgets can keep pace with the huge inflows of new and exciting artists. Lower-priced editioned images allow collectors to develop their holdings more affordable and sustainably. And for artists, editions allow a value capture by offering pieces with lower price points while retaining the same relative market value for a single image.
What is sacrificed in the transition to editions, of course, is the flex that comes with owning a piece that no one else owns. On the flip-side, however, the sale of editions allows artists to expand their collector base and community, which in the long run may help to acheive a more sustainable practice.