Dropping in January 2022, The Other Avatars is the first of its kind and a project that only Saatchi Art could make a reality: a series of handmade, originally-designed, and stylistically-varied avatars created by an international collective of hundreds of artists selected by our curators.
For the project, each participating artist will create 10 to 20 unique avatars inspired by the self-portraits of renowned Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. While today Van Gogh is considered one of the most influential figures in Western art history, during his lifetime he saw relatively little commercial success. His story is emblematic of so many artists and creative thinkers whose visionary approaches—while under appreciated in the moment—turn out to be ahead of their time. The NFT landscape occupies a similar position: while many think NFTs are a passing fad to be ignored, others—including the team at Saatchi Art—believe they will play a major role in the future of art.
Saatchi Art’s entry into the NFT space is an evolution of our mission to support emerging artists and provide a space for people around the world to discover and buy high quality art they love. As the world’s leading online art gallery, we are uniquely positioned to introduce both artists and collectors into the world of NFTs in an environment that is curated, transparent, and welcoming.
With The Other Avatars drop, we’re excited to begin our NFT journey with a project that reflects the incredible breadth, diversity, and talent of Saatchi Art’s global community of artists. Moving forward, we’re exploring opportunities for subsequent NFT collections including curated projects, one-off artist drops, and more. These projects are helping us to move towards realizing Saatchi Art’s long-term vision of displaying and selling traditional art and NFTs side-by-side in an integrated marketplace. In the meantime, we’re also going to be exploring how to bring additional utility to Saatchi Art token owners. Our hope is to create a vibrant community through our NFTs, and will be looking for ways to bring it to life in the coming months.
Avatars are images of a character, usually from the shoulders up, that feature an array of traits. For this project, there are 11 predefined traits that artists will use to create each of their Van Gogh-inspired avatars. Beyond being one-of-a-kind artworks by virtue of each artist’s unique style and approach, every avatar will also have the name of the artist who created it as a trait. This means that even if two artists select the exact same set of traits for their avatar, the artworks will be different because of the artists’ name trait. Rarity will be determined by the artists’ own selections once all works are completed; the traits they chose the least will be the most rare.
This project is made possible by Saatchi Art’s fantastic community of talented artists around the globe. The participating artists at a glance:
Curator of The Other Avatars and Saatchi Art Manager of Art Advisory and Curation
As the creative director behind The Other Avatars, Monty is leading Saatchi Art’s entry into the NFT space. In addition to curating the list of artists participating in The Other Avatars, she is guiding them through the creative process to help them create high quality, unique works of art for this one-of-a-kind drop.
Monty graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Linguistics and Spanish Culture Studies from the University of Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining Saatchi Art in 2018, she worked at female-led, industry disrupting startups including Beauty Pie in London, where she managed content and creative, and The RealReal in San Francisco, where she specialized in luxury estate management with a focus on designer apparel and fine art. As an artist and photographer, Monty has collaborated with renowned talents in the fine art and fashion industries, providing her with the unique insight into the creative process that she brings to her curatorial practice.
Monty was recently featured in ‘Art Is’…a podcast for artists, Future Squared, Interview With An Artist, BlockHash: Exploring the Blockchain, and UpTech Report.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are unique digital items stored on the blockchain where ownership can be tracked and verified. NFTs may come in the form of JPGs, GIFS, audio files, or any other digital file type.
You are purchasing a token on the Ethereum blockchain uniquely associated with a digital artwork, which proves the authenticity and provenance of the artwork.
Yes! After the NFT launch, we will feature the physical works produced as part of this project on Saatchi Art. Physical artworks will be purchasable on Saatchi Art through the artists’ portfolios.
Go to our collection on OpenSea and filter by Artist Name in the filter options.
The majority of all the proceeds for this project will go to the artists. Just like physical artwork sales on Saatchi Art, artists will earn 65% on the sale of their avatars. This will also extend to royalties earned from secondary sales.
Copyright is a hot topic in the NFT space right now, especially because some projects and NFT creators are giving buyers ownership or commercial rights in the artwork associated with their NFTs.
As an online gallery representing emerging artists, we support the intellectual property rights of artists. When an artist creates an artwork, whether it is physical or digital, the artist retains the copyright to their work even after the work is sold. This is the rule under copyright law and standard practice in the traditional art world. Unless a different agreement is made between artist and buyer at the time of sale, the owner of a piece of art has the right to sell and publicly display their artwork, but the artist, not the collector, holds the rights to reproduce for commercial purposes and make other commercial uses of the work. The collector may print out copies of their NFT for personal use.
The Other Avatars is an NFT project created for art lovers, by talented emerging artists from around the globe. The value behind these NFTs is the art itself. Token holders own a unique piece of artwork created by a celebrated emerging artist, whose physical artwork prices range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. While Saatchi Art is looking to grow the benefits of token ownership for the community, introducing perks like free tickets to The Other Art Fair and presale access to sales and future NFT drops, we will not be asking our artists to relinquish their intellectual property rights to token holders. Just like in the world of physical art, the artists will retain full copyrights in their works. All of this is fully laid out in our Consumer Terms.
To protect the value and scarcity of The Other Avatars project, the artists involved have agreed that they will not mint any other NFTs associated with the avatars each artist created as part of this Saatchi NFT drop.
We want this project to live on Ethereum because it is the most popular blockchain for NFTs and is likely to have the most staying power and relevance in the long-term. That said, we also recognize the current environmental impact of the Ethereum blockchain’s Proof of Work protocols with regards to energy usage. To partially mitigate the impact of this project, Saatchi Art will seek to calculate CO2 emissions from The Other Avatars and explore ways that it can reduce the carbon footprint associated with the project. Any offsets bought by Saatchi Art will not impact our artists’ earnings on the sale of their NFTs. We will continue to be a part of the evolving conversation around the environmental impact of NFTs, as we complete this project and work towards milestones on our roadmap.