Crypto Art Nation

"Bo" A digital pro-Bibi artwork by Anonymous Artist

The startup nation is not lacking in those who recognize the economic potential for NFT digital art in the developing metaverse where digital becomes 3D and crypto currency and art have an economically developing relationship.

A visual artist and student at an Israeli Medical school is creating what she describes as, “art that expresses my love for Israel as a true Zionist and supporter of the homeland.” Her art is in a digital medium known as NFT, non-fungible token.

NFTs are bought and sold using crypto currency like Ethereum or Bitcoin.

Ownership of purchased NFT art is recorded by a Blockchain, a ledger available throughout the internet, so although her work appearing online could be seen or saved its ownership could not be disputed.

Josh Ben-David, Director of Product for ZenGo, an Israeli crypto wallet startup, says “digital art is very exciting in the world of NFTs and the metaverse, the VR (virtual reality) world being developed right now.”

A crypto wallet offers secure storage for cryptocurrency.

Although she has created work in other genres, the artist is now focusing on all things Israel.

“This new theme Im exploring,” she says, “is Zionist and pro-Israel based. There are some political sub themes. As far as anonymity, I have always kept my work anonymous. Ironically it makes me feel like I have more freedom in my Iimind to create. The collector focus on the art itself and that way the art can’t be turned into a “page 6” style gossip chain.”

In the past she posted a design for a Zionist tattoo and she says she received a barrage of antisemitic and anti-Israel backlash.

Although she posts without her name she will soon be uploading content with her brand new brand name Club_Cohen (Instagram:club_cohen).

“Also I want people who enjoy my art to do just that. Obviously, people have extremely strong opinions regarding Israel for political reasons, so me remaining anonymous also helps with trolls and people just looking for an argument.”

Ben-David says that, “people are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars a day on NFTs and collectors have their eyes on art, with value being determined not only by the piece itself but also by factors like the artist’s personal story and inspiration for the art.”

She is selling her work on OpenSea, an NFT visual art platform.

In October, 2021, TOI reported the controversial listing for sale of NFT art praising Hitler on OpenSea.

“Something like that is clearly wrong. It’s disgusting.” she said. “I try to make art that embeds a positive message about Israel and the Jewish people. ”

She moved from traditional drawing and painting to NFT citing the digital platform’s broad online reach and its ability for artists to show potential buyers their work.”

“Creating NFT and selling on OpenSea means crypto transactions. The art world is evolving with digital media which means crypto currency is the way artists will make a living in the future.

“I’m into crypto,” the artist said, “so my art must evolve.

She said going digital doesn’t mean leaving traditional mediums behind. “If a piece sells on OpenSea I will reproduce the NFT on canvas and sell it on the open market.”

“Unnamed” Credit: Anonymous Artist, brand name Club_Cohen

The Bibi pieces, she said, “reflect the mood of the political opposition in the country that says, ‘Bibi is the most passionate, astute leader Israel has ever had. We need Prime Minister Netanyahu and his right wing policies back. Bibi does what he says he’ll do.'”

She considers herself politically aware but not an activist.

She has lived in Jerusalem and the South and spent significant time in Tel Aviv. She considers the quiet and slow environment of the south a quiet and ideal environment for a conservative artist compared to to Tel Aviv, Israel’s art center.

Regarding the messaging of her work, although she prefers to let the art speak for itself and draws on her own experiences and beliefs while avoiding themes or messages involving religion. “I don’t want to offend people’s faith. I just want to create work that is pro-Israel.”

“The work is also represents the political right’s response to the left.

There are people who say we need Bibi back. Come back Bibi, come back,” she says in an allusion to her piece which with the word “בוא” or “Come,” repeating throughout, a play on the left’s “Go!” campaign prior to the last elections.

She is selling the work on OpenSea with hopes of strengthening her financial future and helpIng those in need.

“Slow Death” Credit: Anonymous Artist

“Slow Death” Credit: Anonymous Artist, brand name Club_Cohen

She plans on donating half of what she sells to Jewish and Israeli charities.

“Anything I sell represents expendable income. I can live a very modest simple life and help other people instead of keeping all that money for myself.”

“In five years, Ben-David says, “when the metaverse is booming and friends sit around with VR gear in a 3D digital world, in a digital home or in a digital museum, they will definitely have art on their digital walls.”

About the Author
Greg Tepper moved to Israel in 1997, served in the IDF, has a BA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and was a TOI reporter. The Second Intifada left him with PTSD which went untreated and he developed schizoaffective disorder.
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