For Freedoms Artist Collective to Launch First NFT – ARTnews.com

Since last year, the Jan.6 date has taken on a new connotation after pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol. But that’s not the only significant event that happened on this day in history, and For Freedoms goes further back in time for an NFT – the first of the group – themed on a different event. which took place on January 6.

Founded by artists Hank Willis Thomas, Eric Gottesman, Michelle Woo, and Wyatt Gallery in 2016 as a super PAC ahead of that year’s presidential election, For Freedoms takes its name from the State of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 Union. , known as the Four Freedoms Speech, which advocates freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from desire and freedom from fear. This speech was made on January 6, 1941.

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Two years later, Norman Rockwell, pre-eminent scene illustrator of mid-century American life, created a series of paintings depicting the principles of Roosevelt’s speech.

“These images have become symbolic of ideas of American freedom, culture and family,” said Gottesman, who is the artistic director of For Freedoms. “But if you look at them – not even so closely – you’ll notice that almost everyone is white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, with a few exceptions. “

For the NFT, For Freedoms updated the iconic Rockwell Freedom to want (1943), an image of a white family about to eat a Thanksgiving meal, replacing the numbers with members of the group’s core team. Hank Willis Thomas is shown holding the turkey. “We realized that no image could represent America, but by taking this photo of our ‘family’ we were encouraging people through this image to join with us, to take a seat at the table,” said Gottesman.

the group Freedom to want NFT went live on January 6 on the NFT OpenSea platform to connect For Freedoms to a new community that Gottesman believes shares many core values ​​with the collective. “My initial understanding of what NFTs are was just another way to sell artwork,” Gottesman said. “But as I learn more about the possibilities of decentralization and Web3, I see NFTs as a gateway to a system that pushes towards a more accessible institution, more voices at the table, which For Freedoms has. recommended.”

The NFT comes in a 61-copy edition, with 20% of proceeds going to the UCLA Center for Justice, which seeks to end mass incarceration, and the rest of the proceeds going to support For Freedom’s goal of expanding the freedoms it defends. In previous years, they have campaigned around the freedom to heal, the freedom to listen, and the freedom to wake up; this year’s theme is freedom for justice.

“We think there are a lot of people out there who think the world can be a better place,” Gottesman said. “We want to expand the means for these people to communicate and work together. “

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