“Crypto-Artist” in UAE: The first one to sell her work as NFT

    14 May 2021

    We speak to a Dubai-based digital artist and graphic designer, Gigi Gorlova, who recently sold her 3D artwork as NFTs, becoming one of the first digital designers in the UAE to become a crypto-verified artist.

    A graphic designer by profession, Gigi has over 12 years of experience, making digital graphics for a wealth of organizations in the corporate sector. “It seemed like a natural progression for my field of work. So, I decided to take the plunge and see if my art could actually make some money, through NFTs.”

    The 3D artist defines NFTs as the key differentiators for digital files, including digital artwork. “The main attribute of an NFT is its ability to verify an original piece of work, through coding and blockchain encryption. Similar to how you know the difference between a real Monet painting and the copy.”

    While the industry continues to get accustomed to the latest buzzwords in the art world, the crypto artist highlights the prominent difference between crypto art and NFTs. “Crypto art is in the form of an image file, which can be a painting, 3D art, illustration, architectural blueprint or a photograph. Whereas NFTs can be any digital file, like music, video game or even a photograph of an original piece of art, resold as a digital copy, with unique ownership,” adds Gigi, identifying NFTs as a prime opportunity for photographers to monetize their work as well as opening up a wealth of avenues for other disciplines.

    According to the digital artist, NFTs can offer revolutionary benefits when it comes to advocating for artists’ rights, not only bringing in due legislation in the digitals cape, but also through bridging the divide between traditional and modern art forms. “Having been to an art school, I felt that digital art was often pigeonholed as technical, rather than creative, limited to 3D printing or architectural and interior design. It was always segregated from traditional fine art.” NFTs, then, become a fundamental way to pierce through these demarcations, bringing digital art to the forefront of the creative industry.

    “For the first time in history, I’m able to sell my digital artwork as an original piece of art. Digital art is now a part of the art world. In the past, it would have been almost impossible for a digital or 3D artist to be able to showcase their work in a gallery but now NFTs have created value for digital artists, bringing an opportunity to exhibit in galleries,” exclaims Gigi.

    NFTs, rooted in the blockchain system, ironically face the same skepticism once met by cryptocurrencies, for revolutionarily decentralizing world currency. When asked if NFTs can be a potential medium of decentralizing art networks in a similar way, Gigi pointed out, “Earlier, it would take established, often segregated platforms like Christie’s auction, to give value to an art piece. But now, it’s really up to the public and how much they’re willing to pay for an artwork based on how unique or rare they think it is. The way that Beeple and CryptoPunks are able to mint their artworks now is unparalleled to how conventional auctions have sold pieces.”

    Pondering over the impact the rise of NFTs might have in the local art market in Dubai, the British graphic designer also adds, “I think there are so many phenomenal digital artists in this region, doing some really inspiring work. And Dubai has always welcomed new technologies. So, I feel like the next step should be to bring the digital artists together, under one roof, to work with the art galleries here and organize interactive exhibitions that facilitate and celebrate digital art,” the crypto artist signs off.


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