by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE abuse of power by South Africa’s political elite is under the spotlight in the metaverse.
Blessing Ngobeni, the world-renowned, multi-award-winning South African visual artist, has entered that virtual-reality space with a ground-breaking collection that combines physical art pieces with non-fungible token (NFT) digital versions.
The NFT collection is currently on exhibit at the Mila Gallery in Ubuntuland, in Africarare, the continent’s first metaverse.
This collection comprises eight art pieces that are available as pairs, with each set including a physical piece and a digital NFT.
Motivated by social injustices experienced by the majority of people in post-Apartheid South Africa, Ngobeni’s large-scale mixed media paintings are described as fiercely critical of the country’s political elite.
This at a time corruption has peaked and pushing a majority into hardships.
Ngobeni’s exploration of NFTs follows the likes of Frank Miller, KAWS, Maylee Todd, LaTurbo Avedon, and Gary Vee, who have embraced the medium internationally, as well as Norman Catherine, who debuted his NFT collection in Africarare in 2021.
Ngobeni’s collection features both new works and celebrated works of his such as Anatomy of an Insurrection, Lust I, Lust II, Lust III, Shitting Trump and Tribute to African Portraiture.
“I’m excited to bring my unique style to the metaverse and offer collectors the chance to own both a physical piece and a digital collectible of my work,” said Ngobeni.
In addition to having exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions, Ngobeni has been the recipient of awards such as the Reinhold Cassirer Award2012 as well as the Gala Ex-Offenders Awards and the ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals.
He also sponsors the Blessing Ngobeni Art Prize.
“We are thrilled to exhibit Blessing’s inaugural collection of NFT’s, which represent his debut foray into this medium,” said Leora Hessen, ‘Chief Magic and Sparkle Officer’ of Africarare.
“His (Ngobeni’s) works are South African treasures that address our society’s complexities with nuance in his distinct style, and would be a valuable investment for any collector,” she added.
– CAJ News