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NFT allows young collectors an opportunity to own reputable artworks, says Santanu Hazarika
New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANSlife) Visual artist-Illustrator-Influencer Santanu Hazarika has carved a niche for himself in the art world with his unique and contemporary work. From collaborations with A-list artists to being the fastest selling artist on NFT platforms-at a record time of 37 seconds, Santanu's body of work boasts of several such milestones including his first solo exhibition BLCK that was held in Mumbai earlier this year.
Adding another feather to his hat, he painted a Porsche Panamera at the 'All you can street' which was held at the JIO Convention Centre in Mumbai on 17/18/19th June.
The visual spectacle was observed by the public where they witnessed Santanu working his magic on the supercar.
Earlier this year, Santanu became the first ever Indian artist to collaborate with 'Dust of Gods', a global fashion brand patronised by celebrities across the globe. The brand had collaborated with him to bring his art work onto their apparel. He also designed sneakers for the brand. Santanu is also one of the founders of Guwahati Art Project.
Hazarika speaks with IANSlife. Read Excerpts:
Do you believe in appreciation of visual artists?
Santanu: Yes, I do believe in appreciation of visual artists and illustratives like myself, I think because of social media and the internet, there is more awareness and more traceability of people who are in the creative industry and those creating something new. Right now each of us artists have a brand in itself, I have a studio, I have assistance from London, I market my own products. So, I believe because of all these factors coming together, there is more awareness about the art, people are more exposed to different art forms, different artists, and their traces and history and background. This leads to an increased appreciation for this field of work because artists like me are slowly being celebrated and forming associations, and I think this will only get better.
What is your take on NFTs?
Santanu: My take on NFTs is that more people interested in technology, more interested on smart contracts and the block chain and complete decentralization of art, ownership. So, I think it's a fascinating advent of a new horizon that we are being exposed to, this sort of a revolution in a whole new medium, is really rare and it occurs like within many decades. After such a long gap a discovery of new medium in the art world, will empower the industry, to have its own community, to have its own market and to make hard work more accessible to a range of people.
Traceability become more feasible and ownership becomes clear, and also artists like me who maintain NFTs do have royalties attached to them, so every time the artwork is being sold or ownership is changed I get a commission which was not there before. So all of this is beneficial for artists in the NFT world and I am very grateful that one of my fastest selling artwork on which I collaborated with my fellow musician Ritvez, only proves that how many people, how many collectors are waiting to collect the artists they like. With NFT coming on the scene, it becomes much more easier for young collectors to collect works, even though it is rare but I think digital is the future.
Is there any difference in NFTs and the real market, what makes it so different?
Santanu: I say this in every interview NFT is the talk of the town right now, it's very new industry, a very new market place so onset of anything new there will be lot of chatter, lot of chaos around NFTs and finally it will take some time for the industry to become more standardized, become more stable and that's what I am really looking forward to.
A huge difference is crypto currency, to actually go and buy NFTs, so whereas in the real market you would pay normal currency to buy any piece of art, but in NFTs there are no curators, there are no middle men, there are no galleries or gate keepers. Here you can straight away go to a platform or the NFT marketplace, where there is complete transparency, the moment you upload NFT, the moment it is sold, the crypto currency or the amount gets transferred from or to your wallet instantly, irrespective of the time of the day or location. You can see the owner and at the same time if your art work gets resold, you get a percentage of the sale. Its quite different in the real artworld.
What kind of response you were expecting from your first solo show?
Santanu: The response was amazing, we have just come out of the pandemic, the lockdown, art shows started, galleries opened up, sp I am glad that I the showcase was at onset or the opening. The show was sold out, the opening day we saw a footfall above 200 and it was literally like a small indoor concert inside art gallery. I am very happy that my first solo show was really celebrated and appreciated.
How important is it for an artist to have brand collaborations?
Santanu: Like I said an artist in the modern day is like a corporation, we are like a sort of industry in itself, we are our own companies, because I, Santanu as an artist also take care of its own marketing, my own PR, its own innovations, research work. So I have a great role to play and it's quite important for us to keep collaborating, because there our reach as individual artists is limited, so to take the help of any other brand or party which can increase that reach is quite favourable for us. It helps us to stay relevant.
We work with brands to come up with artistic products which further increase the profile as an artist, at the same time also makes the brand relevant in a very pop culture way, I think that's very important. To collaborate, to keep innovating, keep coming up with new ideas and also at the same time get paid, is great. The bigger the brand, the bigger collaboration you have, the bigger your value goes up, for me, an artist who is really into pop culture, into fashion, into technology, I would love to collaborate with the brands that appreciated these. There is no greater satisfaction then actually being part of a brand that you have consumed as a product. I think that's the widest most reach as an artist to collaborate and produce a consumable for the people.
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