INTERVIEW WITH ABRAHAM YAEL
Inspired by the Renaissance and the artistic revolution it brought, Abraham, a talented digital artist from Mexico, chose Italy as his base, considering it a symbol of a new era in art. With his art showcased in renowned exhibitions such as New York's Times Square and Art Basel Miami, he has been at the forefront of the crypto art movement. Through his NFTs, he strives to protect his work and emphasize its uniqueness while also advocating for collaboration and proper credit within the digital art community.
I'm a digital artist from Mexico currently based in Florence. My work is distinguished by my expertise in trading and modeling, as well as my incorporation of photography into my art. Currently, I create NFTs for my work on exclusive platforms such as SuperRare. I've had my art displayed in a number of exhibitions, including ones in New York's Times Square and at Art Basel Miami, where I made history by being the first Mexican to exhibit crypto art. I have my collector group, and we create exhibitions worldwide. One of our exhibitions was recently held in Tribeca, and I just finished my second exhibition in Times Square, New York.
I've worked with high-quality clients like TEDx/TED talks to create graphics for them. In Florence, I have designed album covers for various artists worldwide and created music videos and lyric videos.
Organizing my work has been a significant factor in shaping my craft. I strive for cohesion and clarity while valuing collaboration and communicating with individuals from different countries.
I've been practicing my art for about a decade and have followed my favorite artists for some time. Lately, I've noticed some of them announcing their upcoming collections on NFT Gateway. This sparked my curiosity about NFTs. I delved into research on blockchain technology, specifically Ethereum minting and digital assets. Given my existing art following, venturing into the Web3 space felt like a natural progression, encouraged by fellow admired artists.
Why Italy? Ever since I was young, I've viewed the Renaissance as a significant artistic movement that not only propelled people toward the arts but also towards the Enlightenment period. As a result of the Renaissance, various disciplines, such as science, cartography, and geography, were developed. This is one of the primary reasons why I wanted to study in Florence. I see being here as a symbol of being a part of a revolutionary art movement that can transform different fields. I'm thrilled to be in Florence and immerse myself in its rich history, even though I can't go back in time. However, my visit has also led me to become an active participant in the crypto art movement, which I believe is just as revolutionary as the Renaissance. With the speed of communication today, the impact and reach of such movements can be replicated quickly and broadly, reaching more people than ever before.
As an artist, safeguarding your work through copyright measures is crucial. However, in the digital age, completely preventing copying or theft is not always feasible. Thankfully, Web3 is actively developing solutions, such as wallet recognition, to address these issues.
When I upload my work to a platform, it is unequivocally recognized as mine. If an identical piece is posted elsewhere, it is promptly taken down because I am the original artist. Respecting creators' ownership, diligently giving proper credit, and collaborating with fellow artists are essential practices. Equally important is safeguarding your own work to the best of your ability, emphasizing the significance of maintaining proper conduct as a creator.
Personally, I value NFTs because they protect my work from unauthorized use without proper credit. There have been instances where individuals reposted my work without permission, but by copyrighting my NFTs, I feel more secure knowing that my creations are protected. It also lends credibility to my artwork, preventing unauthorized alterations.
If someone takes a screenshot of my work for personal use, like a screensaver or wallpaper, I don't mind. However, certifying the work as an NFT ensures that only one collector can possess a specific copy of the original, preserving its value and uniqueness. Before the advent of NFTs, protecting digital works was challenging, but their development has simplified the process. There are ongoing advancements in this area that are making it even easier to safeguard digital works.
As a collector, trader, or NFT artist, investing in your security is essential. One of the initial steps you should take is to secure your assets by getting a hardware wallet like a ledger. This measure will safeguard your valuable digital possessions.
Without a ledger, people have experienced theft of their crypto assets. However, with a ledger, the likelihood of theft is virtually impossible. Collectors, traders, and artists need to be wise in their investments and trust their instincts to detect potential fraud. It's crucial to be intelligent when choosing where to invest and recognizing possible fraud.
In my work, I differentiate between every single asset that could be an NFT and those that are not. Not all digital assets are NFTs, and not every NFT is an art piece. NFT projects can be related to products or collections, such as Board Ape, Crypto Punk, or Marvel items. For instance, DJ Steve Aoki uses NFTs as tickets for his concerts. However, there is a category of NFTs that I differentiate as crypto art. In this category, I believe in the Renaissance idea that digital artists put effort, thought, and skill into crafting their projects. These NFTs have more artistic value.
The uniqueness of NFTs makes them valuable to collectors and museums alike. However, not all NFT projects are featured in museums because they prioritize projects with an artistic focus. Therefore, I strive to ensure that the art and craftsmanship of my NFTs are more artistically inclined, akin to Renaissance paintings and impressionist art. Each project is infused with different artistic perspectives, philosophies, and manifestos.
There is a global NFT critical movement, but it lacks organization and a clear artistic perspective. My goal with my art is to create a clear manifesto by incorporating traditional art values into modern art and to convey that the new trend in art is not limited to JPEGs or digital assets.
Not all NFTs are considered masterpieces, but the standards for what is deemed one are comparable to how art is categorized in museums. The creator's profile plays a significant role in distinguishing between what is a masterpiece and what is not. Successful NFT projects could simply feature an image of someone's cat, and due to the hype, they can still sell for a considerable amount of money.
However, there are NFTs, like those created by Tim Maxwell, where he may scan pictures of his drawing process and compile them into a collection. The price of an NFT doesn't necessarily determine its value, as it could mean that it's popular. Ultimately, the criteria for what makes an NFT valuable are subjective and depend on the collector's preferences and the artist's approach. Personal taste plays a big role in this, but as consumers, we encounter various promotions online and need to assess whether they are legitimate. The same criteria should be applied when considering crypto hardware.
Establishing oneself in the art world can be daunting, but a solid foundation is crucial. A professional portfolio, an impressive CV, and fluency in multiple languages attract attention from museums and galleries, increasing the potential for success.
Museums and events prioritize artists with a strong background when selecting exhibitions. Building this foundation becomes the first challenge, ensuring recognition and inclusion in showcases.
Recently, unexpected opportunities have come my way. Discovering the artist behind a captivating John Wick soundtrack in a cinema in Winterthur led to a job offer after expressing appreciation for their work. Similarly, participating in Linkin Park's anniversary contest resulted in my artwork being reposted and recognized, all because of my genuine love for the band.
I find joy in merging my passions and creating unique artwork inspired by cinema, music videos, history, and philosophy. It's about pursuing what I love and finding happiness in the process. As a testament to this, my work will soon be displayed in Times Square.
Growing up in Mexico, I learned the values of a positive outlook and a strong work ethic. Rejection wouldn't deter me; instead, I'd persistently apply to other opportunities until I succeeded. These qualities have guided me well throughout my life.
I've visited remarkable art venues like The Palace, Pompidou, The Louvre, and MoMA. Witnessing NFT projects at Art Basel was fascinating, as artists auctioned their work, integrating NFTs and crypto art into the art system and markets. Approaching things with curiosity, akin to Renaissance artists, can positively impact society.
As a crypto artist, what responsibilities do you perceive now that NFTs are acknowledged as part of the art movement? I aim to convey a positive and intriguing message, sparking curiosity and promoting social growth across all ages. With crypto art gaining recognition in the art world, I feel a heightened responsibility to create meaningful and impactful pieces.
I'd like to share a future-oriented message in the best interests of Mexican society. Some individuals from my country have expressed inspiration, and even the Prime Minister of Mexico congratulated me on being the first Mexican artist displayed in public collections. He mentioned that even pieces by famous Mexican artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are only found in private collections. This recognition places Mexico on the artistic map, adding to the weight of my responsibility. Despite the pressure, I am determined to continue representing Mexico in the arts. Refreshing your skills can foster creativity and propel you to new heights. Some believe that once you reach your peak, there's no surpassing it. However, I disagree. You always have the opportunity to exceed your limits. Seizing that opportunity is ultimately up to you.
The future of the crypto market is uncertain, with many people discussing the possibility of a "crypto winter" and a decrease in investments. However, recently there was a significant increase of almost 620% in the value of a coin called Pepe, which resulted in some people becoming millionaires overnight. This sudden success has attracted new investors to the market. There are several factors that can cause fluctuations in the prices of currencies, but this is common in all markets. I believe that this ensures the relevance of the crypto markets, and over time, it will become a standard. Countries like El Salvador have taken steps to embrace cryptocurrency by adopting Bitcoin as a national currency and removing taxes on innovation related to cryptocurrency. Similar systems are being implemented in regions like the Arab Emirates and Dubai, which have shown significant growth in recent years. This is a positive marker for the future and emphasizes the importance of promoting social growth.
I believe that being an influencer is a significant responsibility. Although I have negative associations with the word "influencer," using it to describe someone who inspires and promotes positive values is admirable. As artists in this movement, it is our responsibility to influence and inspire others positively.