Your Guide to Photography in the Metaverse
Natalie Santafe and Jim Eyre
Photographer of the Week
The Collection as a Mirror
Ukrainian photographer Lisa Bukreyeva’s Fighters is a small series of portraits of Ukrainian civilians learning how to handle weaponry, photographed in February. The series goes far in underscoring national pride and civic duty among the Ukrainian population in the face of war. And the portraits are made with lyrical and sometimes theatrical qualities that convey a theatricality of such exercises.
Natalie Santafe and Jim Eyre
A collaborative project titled TOGETHER/APART between photographers Jim Eyre and Natalie Santafe is a response to isolation and digital connection brought on by the pandemic. The work features surrealistic digital collage work derived from both photographers’ archives, and are made by passing the images back and forth for each artist to apply interventions in a collaborative exercise. This collection is the third such project released by the duo on Foundation.
Imag3Aid is getting ready for a big push into the public eye for it’s upcoming NFT photofundraiser. The initiative, organized by members of the NFT photo community, looks to raise humanitarian aid for Ukraine through the sale of 50+ prominent photographers in the NFT space. Announcements on their website and the participating photographers are expected soon.
Assembly announced its next drop on March 23rd by Brooklyn-based photographer Yael Malka. Malka’s collection, titled The Views, comprises near-abstractions of New York construction wall cutouts that signify spaces between destruction and construction, and larger issues of economic violence that occur in the midst of luxury development in the city.
Assembly’s previous drop, /CLOUD/ by Barry Stone was accompanied by a unique CryptoVoxels exhibition, a new entry in the young but emergent legacies of virtual photography exhibitions.
Fellowship has been fielding questions over the past week on the status of the August Sander collection, which was removed from OpenSea recently. Julian Sander, who worked in partnership with the platform to release his great-grandfather’s work, released a statement yesterday shedding light on the issue, stating that: “a third party, which claims to have certain rights in August Sanders’ photographs, submitted a complaint to OpenSea.” He went on to state his confidence that the collection will be restored. Fellowship is holding a Twitter space with Sander to discuss the situation on Tuesday, March 22nd and 1pm EST.
RawDAO made two new acquisitions this week. The first is a piece from Laurent Chevalier’s collection, Enough. The second, two images by Delphine Diallo. Both pieces come from collections previously dropped by Quantum.
In other news, The DAO’s founder, Luiz DT made a surprise announcement that he has donated to the RAW collection a Twin Flames piece along with several images from Alejandro Cartagena’s Carpoolers from his own personal collection.
KGP NFT was kind enough to invite PhotoVerso readers to register for a pre-sale raffle for access to its first NFT photobook, MorningStar, by photographer and KGP NFT co-founder, Marshall Scheuttle.
The Google form for pre-sale access can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSed5UPspWiGFKg6PXy99s-9Zn9EbrB7OBWQ-gxLTO8ascVUWg/viewform
The books are being offered in an edition of 550 copies for .15 eth, and includes random mints of unique rewards like 1/1 images from the book, extended editions, and alternative covers. Pre-sales open on March 25th, with remaining copies available to the public on the 27th.
Obscura released the work from its Foundry Commission yesterday - 5 projects of 25 images each from photographers Fernando Gallegos, Claudia Pawlak, Mickey Smith, Josip Artukovic, and Gregory Eddi Jones. The collections were previously sold out via pre-sale. The Foundry commission was granted last fall, and is part of a larger commissions program
(Image above by Josip Artukovic from his collection, Tea Soaked Madeleines)
Obscura also launched its 10k photo collection, The World Today, this past week. The collection comprises 138 photographers from around the world, and funds from the collection are provided to those artists in the form of commissions to produce new work as NFTs.
Quantum announced yesterday that its platform is expanding beyond photography, and is now accepting submissions from artists working in 3D, CGI, pixel art and more. The move signals a shift for the platform to expand on its curatorial presence within the space. We’ll be eager to see how the photography market is affected by this eventual pivot.
Photographer of the Week: Noah Addis
This week we spoke with photographer Noah Addis, a Philadelphia-based photographer whose work combines clean, minimal aesthetics with a focus on pressing social, cultural, and environmental issues. While Addis is relatively new to the NFT space, his genesis drop, Future Cities, quickly gained the attention of a rather prominent NFT photo collector.
PhotoVerso: Can you tell us about your background as a photographer?
Noah Addis: I started out as a photojournalist. I studied photography at Drexel University and shortly after graduation, I was hired as a staff photographer at a major daily newspaper. At first I loved the variety of assignments I was given, everything from professional sports to fashion to the war in Iraq. But over time, I found myself wanting to have more control over my work and what I chose to photograph. I left the paper in 2009 and since then I have been working as an independent artist and photographer, and more recently as a photographic educator.
PV: What inspires you as a photographer and what do you hope audiences take away from your work?
NA: Early on, documentary photographers like James Nachtwey, Sebastião Salgado and Abbas were my heroes. Since then I’ve become more aware of photography’s limitations. For better or worse, it’s not up to me what folks take away from my work since everyone interprets photographs differently. My main inspiration now is the beauty and complexity of the world. I still borrow from the street photography and documentary traditions in that I photograph what’s in front of me in a direct, honest way. But please don’t mistake honesty for truth! Truth in photography is a myth.
PV: What's the scoop with your latest NFT drop?
NA: Future Cities is a project about informal urban development in the world’s cities. I first had the idea for the project during an unrelated newspaper assignment in Lagos. A few years later I left the paper to pursue my own projects, and I started Future Cities soon after. This project is super important to me, since it was my first as an independent artist and it has shaped all of the work I’ve done since. I made hundreds of photographs in seven countries over five years, but I’m limiting it to a collection of 48 1/1 NFTs.
The Collection as a Mirror
The collector impulse is something nearly all people share. Collecting is a practice of gathering, of bringing things into our lives, and we each have a natural instinct for surrounding ourselves with the things that we love. In our recent Spaces talk with collector Jeff Excell, we spoke about his affinity for portraiture, particularly portraits that convey intimacy and human connection. For Jeff, interest in that form of photo literature stems from the feelings of disconnection that the pandemic brought to many of us, and a longing for older times when we were together, sharing camaraderie and each other.
The act of collecting is often a form of art in itself, a type of expression that collectors are able to excerpt through their selection of what they buy. The NFT space is filled with speculators and investors that buy work for its economic promise, but there are also more pure-minded collectors who strive for a practice that is a truer reflection of themselves. Regardless of your profile as a collector, over the long run your natural taste exerts itself, and the values you hold, things that you love, and passions that you hope to share naturally manifest in the collection of photography you build.
This week we invite collectors to take a brief moment to survey their own holdings. Look for the common denominators in the photographs you’ve collected and ask: How does this collection perform as a self-portrait? What can I learn of myself by the pictures I’m drawn to? Many collectors will cite their own lack of artistic talent, but artistry comes in many forms, and oftentimes it can be found through the simple act of gathering the pictures that sing the song they love. What is your song?