In a first, former South African president Nelson Mandela’s artwork to be sold as NFTs soon

WION Web Team
Johannesburg Updated: Feb 26, 2022, 04:17 PM(IST)

Former South African president Nelson Mandela’s artwork will get sold as NFTs soon. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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Bonhams will offer ‘My Robben Island’ on the Nifty Gateway platform in a six-hour period on March 9 at a fixed price of $3,495 for the edition, or $699 for an individual work

For the first time, artwork, which has been created by former South African president Nelson Mandela, will be sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) soon.   

The sale will be carried out against the backdrop of a booming global digital art market. All the six works, which will be put up for sale, bear the signature of anti-apartheid hero.  

One artwork called as ‘My Robben Island’ consists of five vivid watercolours. Mandela painted it by after he gave up presidentship in 1999. 'The Motivation', which is a handwritten text, explains visualisation of the harsh island prison.  

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In ‘The Motivation’, Mandela writes, “It is true that Robben Island was once a place of darkness, but out of that darkness has come a wonderful brightness, a light so powerful that it could not be hidden behind prison walls, held back behind prison bars or hemmed in by the surrounding sea … The most fantastic dreams can be achieved if we are prepared to endure life’s challenges.”  

Makaziwe Mandela, daughter, former president, said the ‘watercolours’, which was painted in 2002, represented “the triumph of the human spirit”.   

Offering the artworks as NFTs is a way to reach new audiences, she said. “My dad was all about creating an accessible society. This is a way of democratising his art,” Makaziwe added.   

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Giles Peppiatt, director, modern and contemporary African art, Bonhams, which is selling the NFTs, said, digital art reached “new audiences that probably don’t go to art galleries and museums. These are people who live a lot of their life through their phones, through the internet, and who have large amounts of money at their disposal – and they are collectors. They are becoming a more and more important part of the art market.”   

Bonhams will offer ‘My Robben Island’ on the Nifty Gateway platform in a six-hour period on March 9 at a fixed price of $3,495 for the edition, or $699 for an individual work.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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