The Invictus NFT Lab — backed by Invictus Capital, pioneers in the digital asset space who manage over $200 million of investor assets — is proud to unveil its first nonfungible token (NFT) project that combines the best of fine art and blockchain tech. The Out of Africa collection includes 100 unique NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain-backed by (and redeemable for) real-world, physical artworks across a range of artistic mediums from some of Southern Africa’s top contemporary fine artists. The collection, which represents most participating artists’ first foray into the NFT space, will be sold via auction over February 2022. Read on to learn more about the world-first project and find out how to get your hands on a piece of NFT and fine art history.
NFT and Fine Art set to collide
The global pandemic has presented a challenging period for creatives around the world, with fine artists particularly hard-hit by gallery closures, curtailed travel and canceled exhibitions. Many digital artists have embraced the pandemic as an opportunity to engage more with the fast-growing community of NFT collectors. Many of these artists have been floored by the opportunity the NFT space presents for the disruption of the fine art industry’s business model — bringing to it benefits familiar to anybody in the music industry. For collectors, this means cutting out significant middleman costs that often make an art investment unpalatable. For artists, this means access to a truly global audience and a royalty-driven revenue model that is made possible by the blockchain — ensuring that the artist can share in any later increase in the value of their creation.
Unfortunately, talented artists who create art in the physical realm have been unable to reap any of the benefits of the ongoing NFT boom, with a clear divide between those who consider themselves fine artists and those who consider themselves NFT artists. At the same time, the NFT and fine art collecting communities share little overlap — with the traditional art crowd struggling to come to grips with the value proposition of ownership rights to a publicly-accessible digital file. In our view, both of these distinctions will inevitably continue to dissolve over time, with NFTs gradually finding their way into the mainstream. Already we’ve seen art giants Christie’s and Sotheby’s signal that NFT art is here to stay — though much apprehension remains.
Embracing the power of the blockchain
The NFT Lab’s inaugural Out of Africa collection — a curated, historic collection of 100 physical artworks from 50 of Southern Africa’s most prominent contemporary artists — leverages the best features of both traditional fine art and blockchain technology and allows these artists to share in the benefits of the NFT world. By doing so, we aim to accelerate the transition of NFTs to the mainstream by appealing to both the traditional art collector, the modern NFT collector and anybody in between.
The project will involve the auction of NFT representations of these physical artworks that act as a certificate of ownership of the original artwork and entitle the holder to take delivery if they wish. These tasteful NFT representations will often incorporate animation, or other augmented reality features made possible by digitization. The auctions will be facilitated by the OpenSea NFT market, the world’s largest and most trusted NFT resale platform.
Participation in the auction will be contingent on holding one of 2,500 NFT tickets, or posters, that can be purchased in the lead-up to the auctions or won via giveaways. These NFT tickets will also be digital representations of the physical artworks that form the collection, however, they will grant no right to take delivery and represent a more accessible entry point into the collection for those only wanting to dip their toes into the NFT world. A secondary market in which holders can buy and sell these NFTs will exist on OpenSea. Excitingly, these posters will have fundamental value through an interesting experiment: 10% of all revenue generated by the project, including ongoing royalty revenues on resales — will be used to periodically purchase and destroy posters from the open market — making them scarce assets with intrinsic value outside of their collectible value.
A diverse cast of African voices
No endeavor in the art world could be possible without artistic flair and talent. To this end, the NFT Lab has secured the participation of a number of high-profile contemporary Southern African artists that incorporate a diverse set of voices. From Robert Slingsby’s use of ancient geometry to celebrate African heritage, Matthew Hindley’s poetic brushstrokes, Janko de Beer’s fantastical sculptures (with the King of Morocco a notable fan), Blessing Ngobeni’s inspiring story of redemption and his art’s brave socio-political commentary, or Olivié Keck’s pop-culture inspired whimsy, the strength of the region’s diversity — not only in culture but also artistic style — shines through.
The project is expected to kick off in earnest in January, starting with the distribution of the Poster NFTs that double as auction tickets. February will see the much-anticipated auctions for the Original NFTs in the collection.
Subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you never miss an update as we unveil the participating artists and artworks over the coming month, and as we announce concrete dates for each project phase. If you’re hungry to learn more about this unique project, check out the technical details in the Litepaper. You can also track the project’s progression by following us on Twitter or Instagram.