For the past months the hottest-topic on everyone’s lips has been NFTs. What are NFTs? Non-Fungible Token one would say, but what does that mean? Is it art? According to Wikipedia, NFTs are not art “in the same way Wikipedia is not an encyclopaedia and a pipe is not a pipe” says Kenny Schachter. Apart for its definition others would praise their asset class and the majority of the Baby Boomers will describe them as a liability. Needless to say (or write) the debates are heated, with over 255.6 million tweets the NFT phenomenon has taken the digital world by storm; celebrities, actors, artists, fashion brands – even Budweiser (… and Bud light…) they all are launching one (or a collection of them). So how does the perspective seems like from an NFTist?
Having followed Rata Yonqui, an NFTist native since the golden era of 2021, we dive into a straightforwards Q&A trying to grasp the mind of someone that is very much apart of this world. We ask him about his journey, Cozomo’s Midas touch (aka Snoop Dogg), his NFT alter ego and of course, Twitter.
Helpful keywords to help you get through the text:
- $LIT: “The token that serves absolutely no purpose. Until it does. Hold for answers. Trust the process. And enjoy the ride.” A token that has released amazing NFTs among them and the first one created by Rata “The Degenaissance“, followed by “Motion“; a reactive NFT that watches ETH at all times and responds to its movements, starring Robert De Niro (I applaud).
- Cozomo de’ Medici: Snoop Dogg’s pseudonym in the NFT and Crypto-sphere (character based on Cosimo de’ Medici; patron of the arts who established the Medici family as effective rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance)
- NFT NYC: major NFT Conference in NYC happened past November 2021 with various parties, events etc. We focused on Times Square, where works from the Medici Collection (Snoop’s collection-among others) were presented on tall billboards
- Gms: plural of GM “good morning”; we say good morning (gm) and/or good night (gn) because NFT “hodlers” community is one of the friendliest among each other.
Q: What do NFTs feel like to you?
Rata: I don’t understand this question. I think the world of NFT is too big, too many possibilities. You can express and feel a lot of things.
Q: How long have you been actively creating NFTs and were you always producing art in the digital form? Do you create art otherwise?
Rata: I have been doing NFTs since September 2021, and digital art since I was a teenager in the 90’s. Besides NFTs and digital art, I am a comic artist and graphic designer who has done some animations, songs, a movie and other stuff.
Q: Rats have been a big part of your work, you playfully describe yourself on your Instagram account as “artist” – is there a specific reason why rats are the heroes in your NFTs?
Rata: I chose rat as an alter ego because it is fun and is a good metaphor for human beings, Imo. Anthropomorphic or stylized drawing had the virtue to work as vessels for the spectator to embed with themselves.
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about your collaboration with $LIT and the launching NFT project of The Degenaissance as well as the Lit/rata puzzles?
Rata: I was asked by Cozomo to do a special art for the Litizens. That’s how I met $LIT and the degens. After finishing that request I did become a litizen myself and I’m helping as much as I can with whatever I can do for the community.
Q: What is your personal takes in art history as there is a lot of references in your work to it.
Rata: I admire, learn and use a lot of the work of great painters of the past. I make my reworks and derivatives with respect and always focus on create an original piece with a new discourse and narratives.
Q: Cozomo de’ Medici (aka Snoop Dogg) is a connoisseur in the NFT community, how does it feel to know that your work is part of his collection and did you know that it would be shown at Times Square in New York?
Rata: It feels incredibly empowered. CdM has done a lot for me. Mainly believe in my craft and myself. I can’t express well enough how important this is, the freedom that this means and the change in my life. NYC NTF wasn’t a surprise for me because I helped CdM to make all the screened videos. I think he asked me to do it because he enjoyed my tributes and wanted to use my portrait of his punk in golden armor.
Q: What happened with your Twitter account? Your profile was down for some time – glad you are back up! Any upcoming projects that you can share with us at the moment? What are you working on and what are you eyeing?
Rata: My account was suspended because I sent too many Gms (like 3) to a handle with a no-fun social-network manager. At least that’s what I imagine because there was no explanation. That was funny and I’m glad to be back with my main account, working on more stuff with $LIT, planning a collab with CryptoRastas, my second collectible for The Adventures of Dead Rat Pirate, there is other two project I can not talk about and always working in a new asset for each of my collections.
If you haven’t yet, follow Rata on Twitter (@rata_yonqui) and Instagram (@rata_yonqui)
Cover: @SamSpratt, Nov. 4, 2021 NFT NYC Times Square source Twitter.
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