Comprising 118 unique NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, the Out of Africa Collection presented by Invictus NFT Lab brings together some of Southern Africa’s most prolific artists.
Blessing Ngobeni, considered by many to be one of the best contemporary artists in South Africa and urban contemporary artist Kilmany-Jo Liversage, are two of the featured artists in the Out of Africa Collection.
Invictus Lab NFT collection bolstered by contribution of Blessing Ngobeni.
“The arts are crucial to our country's social, civic, and economic well-being and vibrancy. With the pandemic, the art industry had to find unique ways to engage the audience. There are also beneficial connections between art appreciation and other social and civic activities. Since I used virtual art tours, my work has reached a larger audience creating a wider target market than before. It has been all about adjusting to survive,” says Blessing Ngobeni.
He believes that NFT provides a great platform for the art world and the knowledge and information to be gained from embracing it can be extremely beneficial.
“NFT is a highly credible, reliable investment platform. It is transparent and because each piece has a unique cryptographic token, it reduces the issues of duplication or copying of the artwork. I want to bring more variety to the NFT art space. The Out of Africa Collection is ideal for that. For me, it is about creating more bold content and expressions of our political, social, and environmental factors,” he says.
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Blessing’s artworks are a commentary on themes such as self-enrichment and the abuse of power. This reflects his own experiences as he had to overcome numerous obstacles growing up but persevered to be where he is today. Most recently, he has launched the Blessing Ngobeni Art Prize - an award that is aimed at assisting young and emerging visual artists to launch their careers. The Award provides the nominated artist with a twelve-week studio residency in Johannesburg and solo exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery Johannesburg.
The Out of Africa Collection goes contemporary with Kilmany-Jo Liversage
Urban contemporary artist Kilmany-Jo Liversage will be contributing one piece to the exclusive Invictus NFT Lab-run Out of Africa Collection.
“Invictus purchased my work and they approached me to be part of this NFT launch. Subsequently, I have made two other NFT pieces with NFT BAZYL which were exhibited in October last year for the Blockchain Week in Dubai,” says Liversage.
She says with the pandemic making it impossible to physically visit galleries and art fairs, and travel internationally, her focus turned to the digital aspects of her work.
“NFTs are a good way for people to invest in fine art. It is an added digital element of owning an artwork alongside the physical piece. Both have a monetary and crypto value indelibly linked to the art,” she says.
Her oeuvre has unfolded as a homage to street art, advertising culture, and fashion images. She cites artists like Clare Woods, Inès Longevial, Brian Calvin, Kaws (Brian Donnelly), and Robin Frances Williams as her biggest artistic influences.
“The inspiration behind my NFT contribution is for the subject matters in my painting to be alive and engaging to the viewer. I am excited to be part of The Out of Africa Collection alongside artists I admire,” she adds.