Art & Blockchain: Interview with HOFA Gallery co-founder | Invezz

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art & blockchain: interview with hofa gallery co-founder | invezz

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 the misappropriation of client assets.

This is no doubt a substantial blow to crypto’s reputation. However, there remains innovation in the space, with people pushing blockchain technology to disrupt whatever industries they can.

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This extends to art, where NFTs have thrown an exciting spanner in the works. NFTs exploded during the pandemic boom, with several sales gathering millions upon millions of dollars. Since then, the space has fallen back, but the technology still intrigues many. This includes HOFA Gallery, who have 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 the blockchain offers, and how different sentiment in the industry is these days, compared to the boom of last year.

Invezz (IZ): Can you please explain what this DAO is in very simple terms?

Elio D’Anna (EDA): The HOFA DAO membership programme is a decentralised ecosystem collectively conducting the works of 100 leading contemporary artists, influential digital creators and collectors. The DAO will be governed by its members, providing voting rights to both artists & collectors on future acquisitions via NFT membership drops and through its governance token: ARTEM Coin. 

IZ: What benefits does a DAO have here, as opposed to having a similar syndicate that one could buy into, only not domiciled on the blockchain?

EDA: The DAO will offer governance and voting rights on acquisitions of DAO art through a membership programme which will grant fractional ownership of the entire art portfolio, providing our members with an exclusive connection to each of the 100 artists belonging to the collection.

In addition to this, the portfolio will be actively exhibited across exclusive exhibitions in 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 highly efficient form of profit sharing. Thanks to the blockchain membership, artists and patrons will be able to instantly benefit from the sales of the portfolio through smart contract technology. 

Furthermore, the DAO will benefit from HOFA Gallery’s education platform by offering a Learn To Earn (L2E) program with additional rewards. 

IZ: How much wider a demographic do you believe will be reached as a result of the fractional ownership that a DAO could offer?

EDA: Via the DAO, we will be able to reach an extended audience, engaging a younger demographic with a low-medium spending power. This method would potentially aid and increase the number of individuals to collect contemporary art, as the current average bracket for a collectible work ranges between £5k-£50k. Fractional ownership is therefore the intended solution to democratise a market that has historically been exclusive for a select number of people. 

IZ: What is the overall attitude in the industry – from traditional art galleries, investors and other stakeholders  – towards NFTs and other blockchain-related art projects such as this DAO?

EDA: HOFA Gallery’s stance towards the Metaverse remains unchanged: to bridge the gap between the fine art world and the new generative and digital art. Since the establishment of its digital platform in 2018, the gallery has been accepting cryptocurrency and is recognised as one of the leading catalysts for the fostering and commercialisation of digital art. 

IZ: Is it intimidating launching the DAO now, given what has happened in the wider NFT market over the last year?

EDA: There is persistent risk due to the intimidating nature of the market, however, it is this very condition that has solidified the significance of cryptocurrencies and NFTs to generate opportunities for individuals within the community. 

Our confidence also stems from our successfully established gallery environment, with the addition of launching throughout the last couple years, as well as forming ‘Kreation’, which permits us to believe that we are perfectly equipped to thrive regardless of the market’s condition. 

IZ: Do you have any more plans to push further into the blockchain/art world?

EDA: We look forward to becoming an integral part of the sector, further cementing ourselves within the crypto community. Our efforts will continue to prioritise and remain focused on our artists and collectors, ensuring elite service for both, simultaneously.

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