Recently, NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) have become the latest trend and moneymaker on the Internet. NFT’s are essentially just pieces of digital media that can be traded, invested, and auctioned on different marketplaces online. While these images can easily be downloaded by any Internet surfer, the NFT itself is impossible to recreate since it is stored as a unique unit of data on the blockchain that hosts it. A descriptive analogy given by Inquirer.net relates NFT’s to the Mona Lisa painting. Of course, anyone can take a picture and hang it in their living room, but true ownership of the Mona Lisa painting is highly valued and individual. As a result of this newfound NFT phenomenon, artists have minted their artwork as NFT’s and auctioned its ownership rights at exorbitant prices.
The Celeb Face Collection by PsyNFT is an example of a popular NFT collection on the OpenSea marketplace. This collection is minted on the Ethereum blockchain and is centered around filtered images of well-known figures, both historical and modern. With over 2,400 NFT’s in this collection, featuring portraits of Leonardo da Vinci, 2pac, and more, the collection offers a myriad of distorted portraits of famous people around the world. Compared to most NFT’s on the marketplace, the prices of images in this collection are average across the board, though nowhere near as expensive or exclusive as some of the most famous NFT’s, namely the Doge meme which sold for $4 million USD.. Averaging around 1 ETH or around $4000 USD, the value of these NFT’s is still hardly affordable for the average person, but to a collector, the asset might be worth the value.
The value of Celeb Faces as an NFT can be attributed to the Celebrities Effect described by RecentlyHeard. In many cases, celebrities either bring out their own NFTs and often acknowledge or promote one created by others based on them. The celebrity fame and fan followings often determine the hype and epic rise of any celebrity based NFTs. The Celeb Face collection takes full advantage of a figure’s significance in history and culture to produce and monetize NFT artwork. The images themselves are not valued for the artistic technique or skill, rather the portrait itself is what holds weight and recognition as an NFT. As mentioned earlier, NFT’s are unique to themselves; so the production of NFT’s using known works of art holds a special value in its individuality. In the production of over 2400 well-known NFT’s in this collection, the celebrity status of the individual NFT’s has brought fame and recognition to the creator and the vast collection itself, which serves to increase its brand and product value despite the anonymity of the creator, PsyNFT. While other NFT collections are well regarded by how famous the creator is, Celeb Faces is more known for the variety of recognizable content it provides.
Over time, the popularity of NFT’s as a modern form of artwork licensing has only increased. With flourishing collections such as Celeb Faces dominating the OpenSea marketplace, opportunities for its growth and spread will only increase.
Arasa, Dale. 2021. “OpenSea NFT – Everything to Know.” INQUIRER.net USA. November 18, 2021. https://usa.inquirer.net/87510/opensea-nft.
Khanna, Rajesh. 2021. “Celebrities and the Non Fungible Tokens (NFT) Industry!” RecentlyHeard. October 31, 2021. https://recentlyheard.com/2021/10/31/celebrities-and-the-non-fungible-tokens-nft-industry/.
OpenSea. n.d. “Art | Bryan Cranston – Celeb Face.” OpenSea. https://opensea.io/assets/0x495f947276749ce646f68ac8c248420045cb7b5e/80305803031457727000169367139464419088647062543998058403747638837457564205057.
OpenSea. n.d. “Celeb Face – Collection.” OpenSea. Accessed November 19, 2021. https://opensea.io/collection/prophetic-dream.