Frankfurt: Do well with crypto art

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Of: Sabine Schramek

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NFT art for a good cause: Artists Mike Kuhlmann and Ben Baldieri with Laurent Strauss of Vigee Art © Schramek

Art fascinates. Art is good. Crypto art is a booming market and it fits into any mobile phone. In Atelier Hab & Vigee Art has now been presented, the first artist and community platform where not only digital art is traded, but every NFT is also for a good cause.

Ostend. Mike Kuhlmann (56) isn’t just into hearts, togetherness, Audrey Hepburn or that
Dalai Lama, but also with the D mark. The artist dedicated an entire series to the coin. “The hottest Mark”, “The Peace Mark”, “The Press Mark” in large format on canvas for wall. That D-Mark fan Kuhlmann, of all people, also offers some of his artwork as digital NFT originals fits his way of looking at something between the permanent and the modern, the bold and the familiar. “The original on canvas is of course also available if the customer wants it,” he says with a laugh in his Hab & It’s good, where a projector between the art and the guests brings the premiere here and now closer. The Swiss Laurent Strauss (51) and the British Ben Baldieri (31) have been working for over a year on the “Vigee Art” platform, which is the first in Germany to not only offer crypto-art, but also to connect it with the community and charitable projects.

They are IT, cyber security and blockchain specialists and art lovers at the same time. Artists themselves set the price, at which their NFT, the so-called Non Fungible Token, is presented as a unique and non-reproducible unit of a blockchain. You choose a foundation or a social project and commit to donating a percentage of the income you set yourself. If you buy art, you don’t pay with German marks or euros, but with the cryptocurrency Algo or Algorand. “It all happens through the digital wallet,” says Strauss. Algo purchases are made by credit card and the art ends up in the digital wallet as the original.

“Buyers can also donate to the funds, as can those who join the community and exchange information about art and artists, photos and photographers, general or social projects worldwide,” says Strauss. What sounds futuristic, it is and has now established itself to the extent that digitized art is traded and hyped worldwide. Art blocks from “The Merge” by NFT artist Pak switched to digital wallets for $91.8 million, making it the most expensive piece of crypto art to date. Vigee Art sees itself as “sharity”. As an art space to share something and do good together.

Artists can participate and become better known, art enthusiasts can join the community and learn from each other, social projects and foundations are supported in any case and can also participate. The virtual works of art can be traded. What can be lucrative for the buyer is also good for the artist because he gets royalties on each subsequent sale. “It does not exist with original paintings. The artist only sells his original once,” explains Baldieri. At Vigee, art history meets modernity and the future. Named after the French painter Louise-Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun (1755-1842), who mainly painted portraits of European nobles in the Rococo and Classicism periods, the platform wants to share the world with each other and make everyone’s participation a little bit better .

Whether it is “Orange Babies”, which helps HIV-infected mothers and children in Africa, “Atlas Children”, which works for abandoned children in Morocco, or “Künstlerhilfe Frankfurt”, which supports young artists, the associations are committed. Just like the artists themselves.Kuhlmann is one of those who not only focuses on large-format things that can be touched, but also on digital things that can be carried around. Above all, Strauss and Baldieri convinced him with what sets the website apart from others. “I think the idea is really good. Art makes you good, and it makes you even better.” Whether paintings, digitized sculptures or photographic art, shrill, dignified or surprising. Art knows no boundaries. Information on the internet at https://vigee.art/. (Sabine Schramek)

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