Art & Blockchain: Interview with HOFA Gallery’s co-founder
It’s been a crazy week for cryptocurrency news, as one of the world’s largest exchanges, FTX, abruptly filed for bankruptcy following revelations about misappropriation of client funds.
This is undoubtedly a significant blow to crypto’s reputation. However, there is still innovation in the space, with people pushing blockchain technology to disrupt every industry they can.
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This extends to art, where NFTs have thrown an exciting wrench into the works. NFTs exploded during the pandemic boom, with multiple sales raising millions upon millions of dollars. Since then, the space has fallen back, but the technology still fascinates many. This includes HOFA Gallery, which has recently launched London’s first DAO for art collectors.
I interviewed HOFA Gallery co-founder Elio D’Anna to find out exactly what this means, what benefit blockchain brings, and how different the sentiment in the industry is these days compared to the boom of last year.
Invezz (IZ): Can you explain what this DAO is in very simple terms?
Elio D’Anna (EDA): The The HOFA DAO Membership Program is a decentralized ecosystem that collectively curates the works of 100 leading contemporary artists, influential digital creators and collectors. The DAO will be governed by the members, and gives voting rights to both artists and collectors on future acquisitions via NFT membership and through the governing symbol: ARTEM Coin.
From: What advantages does a DAO have here, as opposed to having a similar syndicate that you could buy into, just not resident on the blockchain?
EDA: DAO will offer governance and voting rights when acquiring DAO art through a membership program that will provide shared ownership of the entire art portfolio, and give our members an exclusive connection to each of the 100 artists who belong to the collection.
In addition to this, the portfolio will be actively exhibited across exclusive exhibitions at leading art fairs worldwide (ART MIAMI, KIAF SEOUL, ISTANBUL CONTEMPORARY, ART DUBAI etc.) and periodically at each HOFA Gallery location.
The DAO also offers a very efficient form of profit sharing. Thanks to the blockchain membership, artists and patrons will be able to immediately benefit from the sale of the portfolio through smart contract technology.
Furthermore, DAO will take advantage of HOFA Gallery’s educational platform by offering a Learn To Earn (L2E) program with additional rewards.
From: How much wider a demographic do you think will be reached as a result of shared ownership that a DAO can offer?
EDA: Via DAO, we will be able to reach an expanded audience, and engage a younger demographic with low-medium purchasing power. This method will potentially help and increase the number of individuals collecting contemporary art, as the current average bracket for a collectible varies between £5k-£50k. Fractional ownership is therefore the intended solution to democratize a market that has historically been exclusive to a select number of people.
From: What is the general attitude of the industry – from traditional art galleries, investors and other stakeholders – to NFTs and other blockchain-related art projects like this DAO?
EDA: HOFA Gallery’s attitude towards Metaverse remains unchanged: to bridge the gap between the art world and the new generative and digital art. Since the establishment of its digital platform in 2018, the gallery has accepted cryptocurrency and is recognized as one of the leading catalysts for promoting and commercializing digital art.
From: Is it scary to launch the DAO now, given what has happened in the broader NFT market over the past year?
EDA: There are persistent risks due to the frightening nature of the market, but it is precisely this condition that has strengthened the importance of cryptocurrencies and NFTs in generating opportunities for individuals in society.
Our confidence also stems from our successful established gallery environment, with the addition of the launch of HOFA.io over the last couple of years, as well as the formation of “Kreation”, which allows us to believe that we are perfectly equipped to thrive regardless of the state of the market.
From: Do you have more plans to push yourself further into the blockchain/art world?
EDA: We look forward to becoming an integral part of the sector, and further cementing ourselves within the crypto community. Our efforts will continue to prioritize and remain focused on our artists and collectors, ensuring elite service for both at the same time.
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