Your Guide to Photography in the Metaverse
Photographer of the Week:
Misha de Ridder
Photography Beyond NFTs
The Photograph as Contemporary Art, by Charlotte Cotton
Marshall Scheuttle: Morning Star
Photographer Marshall Scheuttle dropped his much anticipated NFT photobook, MorningStar, yesterday with KGP NFT. As the first-ever NFT integrated photobook, MorningStar is a lyrical documentary series that explores the surfaces and depths of Las Vegas and its inhabitants.
The book was released in an edition of 550 copies, with many including random-draw 1/1 images from the project. The book comes with it’s own native web viewer in which owners can flip through the pages, experiencing the MorningStar collection in a pioneering presentation model in the NFT space. The public sale for the book opens on Sunday, 3/27.
TMRW: Quantum + Der Greif
TMRW is a collaboratively curated drop between Quantum and Der Greif, a long-time editorial platform for progressive art photography. The collection combines the work of three artists whose combined works examine the idea of uncertain futures in the context of Covid isolation. The artists, Marcin Jozefiak, Julia Kafizova, and Margaret Murphy, were selected from an open call hosted by Der Grief. The collection of all three artists emphasizes the female form, highly stylized posturing and tableaux, and gestures referencing psychological and material tension.
Imag3Aid has completed its curatorial phase, and has gathered images from over 50 prominent photographers that have donated their work for the platform’s upcoming Ukraine fundraiser. The initiative invited curators from various NFT photo platforms to invite photographers from their respective communities. The images will be released in editions of 50, with 100% of primary sales and secondary royalties donated to The Ukraine Emergency Response Fund.
This week Assembly released a new collection by Brooklyn artist Yael Malka, her genesis series titled, The Views. Malka photographed viewing panels of construction sites in New York, transforming banal and everyday landmarks of New York streets into near-abstract, formally playful frames.
Malka’s pictorial play forms a poetry with dark undertones, as the photographer examines how the city’s development of luxury real estate consumes the city and displaces residents. The windows symbolize transitions in some ways, barriers in others, segmenting places where ordinary New Yorkers are allowed to be from those afforded to a privileged few.
Art3 is getting ready for the public release of JAPES (James and Other Apes) by photographer James Mollison. The collection is a series of passport-like photographs of various species of apes photographed both in the wild and within ape sanctuaries. Presales of the collection have already begun, and the work opens to the public on March 29th.
Fellowship announced its next drop by photographer Jonas Bendicksen on April 1st, featuring his fact-wrapping series, The Book of Veles. The project was made about a small town in Macedonia which became a hub of viral misinformation articles in the leadup to the 2016 American election. Bendicksen combines documentary images with portraits created with AI graphic tools, bending viewer expectation while sometimes fooling their sense of belief.
Fellowship has released a preview of the enormous 183-piece collection on OpenSea, along with a recent interview with the photographer on their website.
RawDAO announced new acquisitions this week from the work of photographers, Ava Silvery and Kristin Lee-Moolman. Ava’s work, Behold the Ocean, is a generative photography collection used to raise funds for a climate research expedition, a project we previously spotlighted here on PhotoVerso.
Kristin Lee-Moolman is a South African-based fashion photographer whose collection, 28 Hats for Lamu “documents the competitors in the annual Shela Hat Contest, shot on the island of Lamu, Kenya.”
This week Obscura released Carousel Curated, a collection of color-positive slide photographs that were compiled via an open submission process and curated into a collection of 80 NFTs. Slide photographs are from a bygone, pre-internet era of image sharing, and the project aims to become the world’s largest archive of found slide film. This drop is the first of what is expected to be many to come, and features an eclectic range of amateur photographs that are at once surprising and delightful.
Photographer of the Week: Misha de Ridder
Misha de Ridder is a Dutch photographer who might be considered among the OGs in the NFT photography space. Known for his minimalist aesthetics and techno-centric NFT practice, de Ridder has exhibited his work internationally and has previously released a collection called high up, close by in partnership with Assembly. His new collection, Generative by Nature, has just been released.
PhotoVerso: Can you tell us about your background as a photographer?
Misha de Ridder: I'm a visual artist working with photography and video based in Amsterdam. When my mom gifted me a camera when I was 18, I knew this was it. Completed art school in 1996 and studied philosophy. I have published seven photo books, my latest is ‘high up close by’. My work has been exhibited worldwide, for example in the Museum of the City of New York and Rosegallery in Santa Monica, and is collected in major collections, like Foam Photography Museum Amsterdam. Also I have worked on commission for the New York Times Magazine.
PV: What inspires you as a photographer and what do you hope audiences take away from your work?
MdR: My quiet images elicit a deep, meaningful engagement with how we perceive and understand the world around us. I am interested in how the perceptual and the conceptual are intrinsically connected. Reality is an act of deep imagination. The camera helps us to see the way we are intertwined with the world, to make palpable that we are part of this entity as a given that transcends us. Something that is both as real as it is incomprehensible.
PV: What's the scoop with your latest NFT drop?
MdR: The drop ‘generative by nature’ is about embracing the positive beauty of reality and also referencing generative art projects: “nature is the teacher of the arts. it may be impossible for humans to ever replicate its mystical algorithm in a computer. it may not be necessary. it's already there.” I photographed ‘renders’ of spring and I am minting 36 photos in chronological order on the dates the photos were made, so it is a recreation of the spring of 2021. It is also about sequencing, gameplay and telling stories with a marketplace, in the end all NFT like to play!
Photography Beyond NFTs
With the release of KGP NFT’s first ever NFT photobook, MorningStar by Marshall Scheuttle, it has us thinking about the intersections of “traditional” photographic practices and new paradigms of NFT photography. Scheuttle’s book marks a new chapter in the traditions of photobook publishing. And anyone who knows the photobook boom over the past decade can see clear parallels between photobook and NFT communities. Both are defined by passionate niche audiences, collector-driven investment and flexing, and appreciation for depthful photographic work.
While the photography market in the NFT space continues to expand, we’ve not yet seen strong cross-overs in the form of NFT collectors buying physical photographs and books. Judging by a recent conversation we had with collector Jeff Excell, interest in physicals may be starting to grow as collectors receive more physical books and prints from NFT artists they’ve collected. Coupled with experimental integration of physical and digital assets that is emerging in the larger market, we see great potential for this type of integration to expand specifically within the photo space.
As a sign of the still-early phase of NFT collecting, there still exist very few traditional photography and photobook collectors who have entered the space. Though we see it simply as a matter of time when traditional collectors will follow artists into their new NFT ventures. And as demand increases we can expect artists to continue experimenting with the possibilities of meshing their work across the digital/physical boundary.
Have you, as a collector, begun to venture into collecting physical books and prints? Drop us a line! We’d love to hear about your experience, and perhaps even interview you for our next issue!
Bookshelf is a new segment here on PhotoVerso that aims to share books on contemporary photography for NFT collectors. The NFT photography book has created enormous interest in the medium from those without backgrounds in art and photography history and theory. This weekly segment will offer a book each week that can help to bring collectors into deeper awareness about the traditions and histories of photography, critical ideas surrounding the medium, and introduce new photographic artists who have yet to enter the NFT space.
Book of the Week:
The Photograph as Contemporary Art has been a staple of photo school curriculum for well over a decade, and provides deep insight into many of the leading photographic artists of the current day.
Now in its 4th edition, TPCA is a must-read for any collector curious to dig more deeply into the art photogrpahy world. The book’s author, Charlotte Cotton, is a world-renowned curator and writer often considered a thought-leader in engagements with contemporary photography. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the work of hundereds of photography’s leading image-makers.