Nathan Murdoch, a British street artist, contemplated the mural he just spray-painted. It is a giant picture of two hands joining in prayer and sporting rainbow-colored gloves, before hurling a huge dollop of white paint right at it from an opened tin.
The destruction of a recently completed painting is part of a greater artistic effort that spans both the real and virtual worlds. The original image will be lost, but two copies will be kept: one as a print and the other as a digital file known as an NFT.
“We’re going to do a singular print which will go to an eBay auction, and then after that we’ll do a singular NFT print, which will also go to auction, which is essentially crypto-art,” stated Murdoch.
Non-fungible token (NFT) is a kind of digital asset that is validated using blockchain technology. NFTs are becoming more prominent in the world of art because they enable a file to be indefinitely validated, independent of copies, making it exclusive.
An NFT by U.S. artist Mike Winkelmann, recognized as Beeple, priced for approximately $70 million in a record-breaking Christie’s sale in March, boosting the popularity of NFTs, which some creators and dealers consider it to be important to the sustainability of the art industry.
“Anybody can take photos of pieces of art, but they don’t own it,” stated Murdoch. “This will be, you’re buying the ownership to the file.”
Murdoch, who is located in the central English city of Peterborough, has decided to demolish his mural right away, which is a departure from his prior works. It enables him to pass the initial work’s status to the print and the NFT.
“All other evidence of it will be destroyed,” he stated.
“I essentially create art in the real world, but then I’m going to convert this to be used in the digital space… opening [it] to a much larger and worldwide possible audience.”
The work depicts a praying medical practitioner, and the rainbow-colored gloves are a hint to the rainbows that many British residents showed in their windows during the first COVID-19 lockdown as a show of support for healthcare workers.
Murdoch intends to donate the money from the print and NFT revenue to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom.
In the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest campaign, a painting advocating racial harmony that the creator painted in a Peterborough tunnel in 2019 was extensively posted on social media, as well as by U.S. rapper Ice T.