Luxury Artist Vay Degrado Presents An Avant Garde Rendition Of The Mona Lisa via NFT

Vay Degrado, an ultra-exclusive artist who is rumored to have been working with luxury art collectors for the past decade, has made available their own avant-garde rendition of the Mona Lisa. The piece titled “Vay Degrado Debut” on NFT marketplace Rarible is currently priced at 92 ETH with more content to be unlocked on purchase.

Noted artist Beeple, a graphic designer from Charleston, SC, is alleged to have taken inspiration from Vay Degrado’s piece for a similar pixelated Mona Lisa Instagram post. The piece in question from Beeple was shared on Instagram with the caption “THE NEXT CHAPTER.” Vay Degrado’s strikingly similar rendition of the Mona Lisa was uploaded to the blockchain prior to Beeple’s Instagram post.

The Mona Lisa is an iconic painting by the legendary artist Leonardo Da Vinci. The painting is known for the enigmatic expression of the subject. It has been widely studied and written about throughout history. It has been a staple of pop culture for almost a century. It is also one of the most valuable paintings in the world with an insurance evaluation placing it at around $700 million in 2021 adjusted for inflation.

Vay Degrado’s pixelated Mona Lisa offers overlapping, colored, pixelated forms of the Mona Lisa superimposed to give the final piece a hazy, almost dreamlike quality. On the other hand, Beeple’s pixelated version of the Mona Lisa stays true to the original colors of the painting. The style is reminiscent of the art used for retro video game consoles that had to make do with fewer memory units to store an image. Game developers thus choose to create a smaller pixelated version of the image that captures its essence while using a fraction of the memory. Beeple’s version also places the pixelated image in a frame whereas Vay Degrado’s bold piece eschews the frame and presents the central figure on its own. Readers can follow Vay Degrado on Instagram to view the artist’s other graphic art pieces.

According to Vay Degrado’s Instagram bio, they sell keys to treasure chests via NFTs that most can’t afford. The rendition of the Mona Lisa is captioned with the message, “Only buy the field if you know the treasure is buried in it.” Their Twitter bio says, “Recovering Artist: I use to use fiat. I also use to paint with my fingers.” The cryptic message accompanying the image and on the artist’s social media adds to the mystery surrounding the artist and their work. Vay Degrado’s clientele is secret and they claim that their art pieces are only circulated in the most exclusive circles.

The choice of NFTs to convert the image into a one-of-a-kind token increases the value of the art piece. NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. Non-fungible tokens are unique and can’t be exchanged for something similar. The closest real-world analogy is a one-of-a-kind trading card. The record of ownership of the non-fungible token is maintained on the blockchain, a distributed ledger. NFTs are an exciting proposition in the world of art as it enables patrons to support the creators that they like the most. It also gives collectors the chance to invest in a speculative asset.

NFTs have seen something of a boom lately following Beeple’s sale of a $69 million piece titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days.” The work is a large digital mosaic of images that Beeple released on the web, every day starting May 1, 2007. Singer-songwriter Grimes also received millions of dollars for a series of 10 pieces. Some of the pieces were unique while some were offered in a batch of thousands. The public interest has surged following high-profile, high-value transactions such as these. There is also a murkier side to the NFT craze as they are built on top of cryptocurrencies that take a lot of electricity to mine. NFTs, therefore, have a negative impact on climate change.

Readers can follow Vay Degrado on Twitter to keep up to date with their latest artistic output. Those who can afford it can visit Vay has listed 2 pieces for sale.


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Vay Degrado