Many years after ancient African artefacts were stolen and housed in European museums, a Nigerian artist identified as Nazquiat has started a project that pays tribute to these artworks through NFT, which he calls the AfroTroves Collection.
Speaking with Muse.ng, Nazquiat said the Afrotroves NFT collection currently consists 30 1/1 NFTs and each NFT was made from sacred artefacts.
According to Nazquiat, the AfrotToves project has onboarded two new digital artists into the NFT space and funded three others.
The young man said he wants the African art to live forever on the blockchain.
In his words: “One of the best parts about me making the AfroTroves Collection is that it’s my way of claiming back the stolen art from my culture and getting reparations to my fellow artists and collaborators.”
He said another goal of the Afrotroves NFT Collection is to fund an independent short movie that would be shot by him in Nigeria which would in turn give more opportunity to more African artists and creators and to those who were kind enough to believe in the project by purchasing an NFT.
The artist said: “We are offering a 40% share of profits from the movie. As this is a project that will bring communities together, in a celebration of art, old and new. And on behalf of the team I’d like to thank Muse.ng for taking a chance to tell our story so that we can achieve our main goal of empowering artists of a new generation.”
Nazquiat is a multidisciplinary creative with a huge passion for creating art in every medium possible.
Speaking of his life experiences, the Nigerian artist said: “My numerous life experiences allowed me to grow into a better, more patient artist and most importantly understanding the importance of storytelling.
He said: “In my art, you can find me cleverly and abstractly weaving tales of my identity, pain, dreams, pride, fears, experiences and willingness to evolve.
“My art taps into several creative mediums ranging from Digital Paintings, Animation, Graphic Design, 3D renders, Photography & filmmaking.”
Nazquiat said he turned the AfroTroves Collection into a collaborative effort when he got stuck creatively after creating the first 15 NFTs.
In his words: “So I reached out to other NFT digital artists (men and women) from across Africa and ended up with a phenomenal team of creatives featuring @afrogodd @disiswodi @themacsolomon @uEshela and @gigi.x.art.”
His journey into the art industry
Nazquiat said he became a professional artist since he made his one thousand naira in Senior Secondary School One from designing a t-shirt for one of his classmates.
The young man, who said art makes him express himself in every way possible, stated that his greatest moment as an artist was last year December when he sold out all his entries for a collection.
In his words: “Being a part of the Obscura DAO “WHO WE ARE” NFT Photography collection (Which at the time was the biggest NFT Photography collection) and selling out all my entries a day before the launch as collectors reached out to me the day before asking for private sales before the auction.
“I never thought I could make stuff that people would want that bad, I only dreamed of it.”
Speaking further about his work, the artist said the art he creates aims to be eclectic, contemporary, honest and revealing.
He said: “No matter the medium in which I create, it all comes from within my being. I want people to see my art and see the deepest parts of themselves in it.”
Support from Nigerians
Nazquiat said Nigerians are appreciate of his work, adding that he wouldn’t be where he is if not for their support.
In his words: “If not for Nigerians I don’t think I’d be where I am now because they have supported me to the point of me being seen internationally.
“Now obviously I don’t get a lot of financial patronage from Africa but I understand it’s hard for the average millennial. An NFT is a luxury for most people from my background.”
Nazquiat said though the journey as an NFT creator has been great but he only wishes it gets better.
The artist said: “It’s been great. My only wish is that it gets even better because my dad and mum need a new Bentley or two and a few all holiday trips on my pocket, especially my mum because she’s the one that has been my day one.”
Challenges faced an artist
The young man said the challenges he faces as an artist include battling creative blocks, procrastination, juggling multiple streams of income and the ever changing nature with the NFT space.
Nazquiat said he sees himself doing exhibition all around the world and contributing in the tech/content space in the next couple of years.
In his words: “Inspiring a new generation and making solutions for their lives to be easier.”