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Having sold more than 18 000 original artworks, South African artist Portchie has now also made history by becoming the first in the country to sell a collection of generative canvas art through non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
By using a randomised digital generator, Portchie, whose real name is Jan Hendrik Viljoen, will release a collection of only 1 000 NFTs starting on Thursday, 25 August 2022.
Generative Canvas Art
“Art is something that brings joy to my eyes and mind and that makes life special for me. This project called ‘Cycling by the riverside’ is very exciting because I’m not a digital artist, but I am able to achieve something like this,” says Portchie.
An NFT is a digital asset that exists completely in the digital universe. You can’t touch it, but you can own it. And with Facebook and Instagram working on enabling users to use their NFTs within their platforms, owning art in the digital world is set to become mainstream in the future.
Portchie partnered with a team of creative technologists to create a system by which each NFT will be digitally created. This means each of the multiple hand-painted elements and their variations is given a chance to get randomly selected and then combined to create a unique piece of digitally created art.
Portchie’s art quickly became popular after selling out at his first big solo exhibition in 1991 and in 1995 he went to open an art studio called The Red Teapot Gallery where neighbouring art galleries in Stellenbosch, on the Cape Winelands, started buying his art.
His artworks are a trademark of vibrant colours, distorted shapes and blue trees and is often described as a “burst of joyful colour”. Since starting out, he has sold more than 18 000 original paintings and more than 1 million prints worldwide. Unlike limited editions or prints, this NFT collection will only consist of unique collectibles, which means you will not be able to find two that are a copy of each other.
NFT art hit global mainstream news over the last year with several high-profile sales garnering millions of dollars. For example, in 2021, Everydays: The first 5 000 days was sold for $69.3 million.
In addition to owning the digital asset, each NFT will enable its owner to redeem a high-definition print of their collectible, signed by Portchie himself. He will also accept a limited amount of commission requests from those who would also like a painted copy of their unique collectible.
Through a process called minting – taking digital data and turning it into crypto collections or digital assets – fans from across the world now have the ability to instantly own the unique collectible. Fans can mint their NFT as opposed to buying it.
A whitelist in the NFT world is a list of people who get in early and are guaranteed access to mint and often have the opportunity to buy the NFT at a lower price before being made available to the general public.
People who want to join the Portchie whitelist are encouraged to go to Discord and sign up to join the “Cycling by the riverside” community of fans and art lovers. More information is available online.