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South African company helps hang local art in virtual world

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ANKARA, TURKIYE – APRIL 1: On this photograph illustration the brand of “Meta” is displayed on laptop display behind the VR headset in Ankara, Turkiye on April 1, 2022. (Picture by Ercin Erturk/Anadolu Company by way of Getty Pictures)

JOHANNESBURG, June 2 (Reuters) – As South African artist Fhatuwani Mukheli paints a portrait of a girl at his Johannesburg studio, he’s creating not solely the work earlier than him but in addition a digital asset destined to adorn a digital world.

Mukheli makes use of The Tree, a web based market for South African artists to advertise and promote their artwork as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

“There’s a digital world the place persons are shopping for land in it,” stated Mukheli, referring to the metaverse, a three-dimensional digital actuality that tech giants like Microsoft and Fb say is the way forward for the web.

“Individuals have properties there … and your artwork may be on these partitions.”

Mukheli’s prospects obtain each the precise canvas and the NFT, whereas different artists on The Tree promote as much as 5 restricted version NFTs for each bit, akin to digital prints. Mukheli has already made hundreds of {dollars} through the use of the platform.

“I feel it’s necessary as an artist and a artistic to at all times play the place the ball goes and never essentially the place it’s at,” stated Trevor Stuurman, one of many 4 different artists at present showcasing their work on The Tree.

Critics say blockchains, digital ledgers used to retailer info, usually are not climate-friendly as a result of they guzzle computing energy.

The Tree says it saves power by operating on Polygon, a blockchain that makes use of a fraction of the facility, and offsets every transaction by sending cash to Greenpop, an environmental organisation that vegetation timber throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

“It’s not nearly artwork and artists and the story, it’s about ensuring that this progress in know-how for artists doesn’t come at a value to the planet,” stated Dan Portal, co-founder of The Tree.

(Reporting by Sisipho Skweyiya; Writing by Hereward Holland;Modifying by Alison Williams)

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