Art & Blockchain: Interview with co-founder of HOFA Gallery

It’s been a crazy week for cryptocurrency news as one of the world’s largest exchanges, FTX, suddenly filed for bankruptcy following revelations of misappropriation of client assets.

This is undoubtedly a big blow to crypto’s reputation. But innovation remains in the space where people are pushing blockchain technology to disrupt all sorts of industries.

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This extends to art, where NFTs have thrown an exciting twist in the works. NFTs exploded during the pandemic boom, with numerous sales making millions upon millions of dollars. The space has since been withdrawn, but the technology still fascinates many. This also applies to HOFA Gallery, which recently launched the first DAO for art collectors in London.

I interviewed HOFA Gallery co-founder Elio D’Anna to find out exactly what this means, what benefits blockchain offers, and how different the mood in the industry is today compared to last year’s boom.

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

Elio D’Anna (EDA): That The HOFA DAO Membership Program is a decentralized ecosystem that collectively powers the work of 100 leading contemporary artists, influential digital creators and collectors. The DAO will be governed by its members and will provide voting rights to both artists and collectors on future acquisitions through NFT membership drops and through its governance token: ARTEM Coin.

From: What advantages does a DAO have here, as opposed to having a similar syndicate that you could buy into, just not established on the blockchain?

EDA: The DAO will provide governance and voting rights for the purchase of DAO art through a membership program that will provide partial ownership of the entire art portfolio, giving our members an exclusive relationship with each of the 100 artists in the collection.

Additionally, the portfolio will be actively showcased in exclusive exhibitions at leading art fairs around the world (ART MIAMI, KIAF SEOUL, ISTANBUL CONTEMPORARY, ART DUBAI etc.) and periodically at each HOFA Gallery location.

The DAO also offers a very efficient form of profit sharing. Thanks to the blockchain membership, artists and customers can directly benefit from the sale of the portfolio via smart contract technology.

In addition, DAO will take advantage of HOFA Gallery’s educational platform by offering a Learn To Earn (L2E) program with additional rewards.

From: How much wider audience do you think will be reached as a result of the fractional ownership that a DAO could provide?

EDA: Through DAO, we can reach a larger audience and appeal to a younger target group with low to medium purchasing power. This method will potentially help and increase the number of individuals collecting contemporary art, as the current average price for a collector’s work is between £5,000 and £50,000. Share ownership is therefore the intended solution to democratize a market that has historically been exclusive to a select few.

From: What is the general attitude in the industry – from traditional art galleries, investors and other stakeholders – to NFTs and other blockchain-related art projects like this DAO?

EDA: HOFA Gallery’s attitude towards Metaverse remains unchanged: bridging the gap between the visual art world and the new generative and digital art. Since establishing its digital platform in 2018, the gallery has accepted cryptocurrency and is recognized as one of the leading catalysts for promoting and commercializing digital art.

From: Is it scary to launch The DAO now given what has happened in the broader NFT market over the past year?

EDA: There is ongoing risk due to the intimidating nature of the market, but it is precisely this condition that has reinforced the importance of cryptocurrencies and NFTs in creating opportunities for individuals in society.

Our confidence also stems from our successful gallery environment, with the addition of the launch of over the last few years, as well as the formation of ‘Kreation’, which allows us to believe that we are perfect equipped to thrive no matter what market conditions.

From: Do you have further plans to continue in the blockchain/art world?

EDA: We look forward to becoming an integral part of the industry and further strengthening ourselves within the crypto community. Our efforts will continue to prioritize and focus on our artists and collectors, while ensuring elite service for both.

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