FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY & NFT – PART II
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NFTS MIGHT BE A GREAT WAY OF CREATE, SHARE AND COLLECT ART BUT DO THEY WORK FOR FINE ART LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY?
In FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY & NFT – PART I, I outlined what NFTs are, how the process of creating, buying and selling them works as well as what the advantages and disadvantages of collecting them are. Now is time for the million-dollar question, for me and for many landscape photographers as well: do NFTs work – or could they work – as a medium to create, share and collect artworks based on Fine Art landscape photography as well? Most importantly, will the medium affect the art, for better or worse?
To make the read more fun I decided to structure this article as an interview. Questions are by an imaginary NFT magazine journalist, impersonated by me; answers are by me.
Vieri, you are a Fine Art landscape photographer working on the perception of time in your images. Your approach to landscape photography is interpretative and not documentary, you aim to transmit the emotions that a place and a moment in time evoked in you rather than a place’s mere appearance. Your medium of choice to share your work has always been Fine Art prints. How did you find the move to the NFT community, and what did NFT as a medium offer you expressively in addition to your usual outputs?
Starting with the community, I have been really impressed with it. People are extremely supportive and encouraging, and they have been very helpful so far. I tried to be as helpful as I could in return, and I plan to get even more involved as time goes by and I learn more about NFTs.
About the work, one of the things that strongly attracted me to NFTs is the possibility to create new kinds of work, to go even deeper in my explorations of the concept of time and its representation in photography; work that I couldn’t do with Fine Art prints. In particular, I finally found a creative outlet for projects I had in mind for quite some time, projects aimed at showing different levels of perception of the flowing of time.
Wow, that’s great to hear! We love it when people finds that NFTs helped them expanding their creative horizons. Can you tell us something more about one of these projects?
Sure! FLOWING TIME is the first of my NFT-specific projects. The idea behind it is to juxtapose, using short videos, two images of the same location composed in exactly the same way. The first image is created using a shutter speed short enough to make it similar to how the human eye would have perceived the scene. The second image is created using long exposures and – therefore – shows the passing of time in a single frame in a way that is impossible for the human eye to perceive in the real world.
Contrarily to most animated work you’ll find in the NFT space, though, my FLOWING TIME works are completely based on pure, still Fine Art photography. They are not based on timelapse and have no digital or analogue additions such as effects, lights and so on, either at the time of shooting or in post-processing.
Other than combining them in video in a way to suggest movement, they are pure still photographs. The camera has been my expressive tool for over a decade now, and that won’t change; NFTs simply allowed me to expand the camera’s possibilities.
Wonderful, thank you! Does this mean that you will also be creating NFTs based on still photography?
Yes, of course! Still photography is what I do, and I believe in its enormous expressive potential, both in the analogue world and in the NFT world as well.
There aren’t nearly as many pure photographers in the NFT space as there are digital artists, illustrators, animators, and the like. Do you see room for Fine Art landscape photography in the NFT world?
Yes, I definitely do, despite Fine Art photography being at the time of writing a very small minority of the work found on most NFT platforms. I come from a musical background and career, and I always believed that you have to play the way you want, not the way you think people expects you to. The same has been true throughout my career with photography: I have always created the images I wanted to create, not those I thought might sell. If I did that, the work would have been creatively dead, and that would have killed me with it, too.
I believe this is true for any artistic pursuit: we create the work we need to create, the work that is inside of us screaming to come out. If your art is genuine and honestly expresses what you have in your brain, heart and soul, you’ll always find people who recognize that and will love to add it to their collections. I believe that the same is true for Fine Art landscape photography and NFT.
You sound like a man on a mission! You aren’t going to stop until you brought Fine Art landscape photography into the NFT space, are you?
Well, I don’t think that Fine Art landscape photography really needs me for that! I believe it’s a beautiful, deep and powerful form of visual art, and that it will definitely find a place in the NFT space and in the collections of NFT lovers, with or without my help.
If you are asking me whether I would love to see more Fine Art landscape photography in the NFT space, the answer is definitely yes, and I will do my best to make this beautiful art known and appreciated. To do so, I believe that we need to create projects with clear ideas behind them, strong visuals and technically as good as they can be. If we can do that, there will always be people appreciating what we do. This has been true for my music back in the day and for my Fine Art prints as well, and I am sure that will prove true for landscape photographers in the NFT space as well.
I am really excited to see what the NFT community will bring to my evolution as an artist and I hope I’ll be able to contribute something to the NFT community in return!
Your project-oriented approach makes perfect sense to me, thank you. Last, let’s talk about the audience. How do you see NFT audiences versus analogue ones?
When I first heard about NFTs, I was afraid that I would need to adapt my work to the new medium, which is something I’d never do. Instead, two things happened. First, the new medium inspired me to create new work specific for the NFT format and medium, bringing to life ideas that were lurking inside me for a long time. Second, it inspired me to create projects based on my existing body of work but specifically designed for the NFT space, projects that couldn’t exist before.
That’s great to hear. How about the relationship between collectors of your tangible work and collectors of your NFTs?
I sell my Fine Art prints as single-copy limited editions on my PRINT SHOP, which fits perfectly well with the NFT model of uniqueness (see VIERI BOTTAZZINI ON FOUNDATION). Therefore, while the two audiences are likely to be different – if perhaps slightly overlapping – the integrity of my approach to art production and to collectors stays the same: collectors of my prints won’t feel undercut by a proliferation of NFTs, and vice-versa collectors of my NFTs won’t feel undercut by a proliferation of so-called limited editions of Fine Art prints in hundreds of copies.
In closing, how would you describe your whole experience with NFTs so far in a sentence?
While I am still very new to the NFT world, NFTs allowed me to offer artworks created for the new medium and fitting the space very well, as well as starting to find a new audience of collectors new to my work. And all in just a few weeks! So far it has been an inspiring and motivational ride, I am thrilled about being part of it, I am excited about the work I am creating, and I am looking forward to seeing how things will develop in the future!
In conclusion, I believe that NFTs have enormous potential for creating and sharing photography-based digital art. I believe that they are not a substitute for tangible art, such as Fine Art prints, but an addition to it. Exploiting all the possibilities that the new medium and format offer us is exciting and inspiring, provided we keep our artistic integrity when doing so. If we decide to pursue a mixed model with both tangible and NFT-based art, I believe that it is fundamental to keep our approach to art production and our approach to collectors consistent, without undercutting either our old collectors’ base or the new one.
When it comes to the possibility for Fine Art landscape photography to find a place in the NFT world, as it is with tangible art, I believe that this depends mostly on us creators. It is up to us to create art that is compelling and convincing, art that potential collectors would want to own and enjoy. It is up to us to find the right collectors for our art, rather than waiting to be discovered and complain if nobody does it. As with tangible art, nothing happens overnight. With hard work, quality and dedication, I believe the sky is the limit.
Thanks for reading this article, I hope you enjoyed it! Why don’t you share it with your friends, or drop me a comment to let me know how you feel about this?
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