British-American photo model Emily Ratajkowski is getting back at Instagram-ripping artist Richard Prince with her own NFT sale. Ratajkowski will auction an NFT through auction house Christie’s. The artwork show’s a photo of her posing in front of Prince’s artwork, which in itself is an enlarged screen capture of a post from her own Instagram page.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Emily Ratajkowski sees the NFT as an attempt to reclaim herself. The model slash actress has seen many other people profit from her own photos. This NFT allows her to profit directly from a photoshoot that never made her a lot of money in the first place. The original photo was taken during a Sports Illustrated shoot, and made her ‘a couple of grand’.
What’s far more interesting is that Ratajkowski pulls a trick on Richard Prince, that Prince has been taken on others for many years. Prince has been stealing other people’s photos and Instagram posts for years, and selling these for thousands of dollars. His works have resulted in many lawsuits, but these mostly workout in Prince’s favor. Ratajkowski is now, very smartly, returning the favor. Props for that, Emily!
Don’t think that Ratajkowski didn’t do research. She had been investigating NFTs earlier this year after agents approached her looking for an NFT money grab. The American model wanted to make a statement about ownership. She’s been checking out NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Foundation and SuperRare.
Ratajkowski will sell her NFT, which she named ‘Buying Myself Back: A Model for Redistribution’, through Christie’s in an auction on May 14th. They will only accept bids in USD by registered bidders.
Wait, what is an NFT? And what’s NFT art?
Digital art has been around for decades. However, without the existence of blockchain technology it was impossible to verify authenticity and rarity. Now digital art is connected to a token on the blockchain, a non-fungible token or NFT. That way buyers can see how many copies of a certain artwork there are, and whether the product is original. Digital art on the blockchain used to be referred to as crypto art, but NFT art as a name has become increasingly popular.
The concept of seeing a digital image as art, is one thing. However, for many people it will be a challenge to consider digital images valuable. Consider this: The Mona Lisa is worth many millions of dollars. If I would paint the Mona Lisa in an exact copy, it would be worth only 50 dollars. Because we all know where the original version is. Being able to verify the authenticity and rarity of a piece of art is crucial. This applies to NFT art on the blockchain as well.
Some people don’t care about the Mona Lisa. It’s just a painting. They are happy to download an image from Google Images, print it on canvas and hang it in their living room. Others want the real deal. The same rules go up for digital art. Many people will be happy having a digital image they like, screenshotted on their phone. Others will value having an original artwork, minted by the actual creator, verifiable through blockchain technology.
Read more to understand non-fungible tokens even better!