NFTs x VIVENTS x Gregory Hedrich

WOULD MONA LISA STILL SMILE AS NFT?

WE WOULD SAY "MAYBE"! THIS IS WHAT WE ASSUME AFTER THE FIRST NFT X VIVENTS BY ARTDEAL EVENT, WHICH TOOK PLACE AT THE FOLIUM IN ZURICH ON 2 JUNE 2022.

On this wonderful evening, hosted as a part of our client event series celebrating 50 years of Walder Wyss, we invited an audience of clients, lawyers, associates and friends to a fun and interesting introduction into the, for many attendees, unknown world of NFTs. Set in the urban environment of what used to be a paper factory in 1886, Florian Gunz Niedermann, partner and board member at Walder Wyss, moderated and interviewed two experts in the field of NFTs. On stage we followed an exciting discussion between the CEO of artdeal and Vivents Sarah Schlagenhauf and Zurich-based artist Gregory Hedrich.

If you don’t know it, Google it!

They provided us with an introduction into the metaverse and took us step by step through the lingo and 101 of the Web-3. Sarah explained that, like Instagram, the metaverse and NFTs are just another extension of the real world. Both co-exist and neither world excludes the other. Without one, there is no other. Vivents is one of the newer digital platforms for virtual events, where artists sell and introduce their newest works. It looks much like Instagram and with only a few clicks, a new piece of art can be yours. She went on to introduce the famous series Bored Ape Yacht Club. If you don’t know it, Google it! The series has an overall value of 2.9 billion for a total of 10,000 NFTs. That is 2.9 million per piece of art - so you can imagine how immensely the NFT market must have influenced artists’ work.

The NFT market is much more empowering for artists and more community-driven.

Once the lingo and basics were explained, we quickly understood that the market for NFTs is not that different from the real one. One exception: it is much more empowering for artists and more community-driven. However, we will come back to this point later. Similarly to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, artist Gregory Hedrich created his own series of art pieces in a virtual space called fish-tank.io. A masterpiece of 1111 different fish, based on the same building blocks and characteristics for each individual fish, in their own way. This way Gregory created some fish rarer than others, implemented the classical marketing tool of gamification and invoked an artificial creation of rarity. By purchasing one of his fish, collectors are granted entry into the Discord chat of collectors and, those who purchase more fish in a tank or rare ones, get special benefits or access to the exclusive circle of the collectors’ group. In doing so on NFT platforms, Gregory can set the original value himself and earns a royalty fee each time he sells a piece. He is also in continuous contact with his community.

Listening to Gregory explaining this, many of us had to laugh. You can tell he is down to earth, came from classical painting and has endured an artist’s life full of struggles and challenges. He still cannot believe the success he has had. Having gone from selling a canvas for a few hundred dollars here and there, his worth and success was catapulted when he decided one day to digitalize his sketchbook and make an NFT out of it. All of a sudden, he was able to sell 5 to 10 pieces of artwork in one go, for several thousands in one day. A new door opened for him and a path to success in a market full of potential that many of us have yet to understand. When asked by Florian what he alternatively would have picked as a job if NFT artist had not worked out for him, the answer was: “I would’ve been a musician.”

Come by and say hi.

The evening ended with an exhilarating run-through on the virtual platform Vivents and our purchase of one of Gregory’s NFTs especially created for this event: “Four dreams & four angels!“. The series shows four flamboyant and moving dreams, each of which has their own guardian angel. “It means to go far and always further but without you, my angel, I cannot take off.” One “dream” will now come true in its new home at Walder Wyss. Another “dream” was additionally drawn and given away to one lucky winner in the audience. To finish off the night, we enjoyed Gregory’s artwork in a semi-virtual exhibition, drank champagne, toasted and savoured a delicious flying dinner. Our “Angel” will be displayed at our offices in the near future. Come by and say hi.