An emoji of an afikomen may have broke new ground in the Jewish art world.
Selling for 2.20 ETH, or around $4,000, an afikomen emoji is the first known piece of Jewish NFT art to sell at auction. An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a unique piece of data on a blockchain that is not interchangeable. In other words, NFTs are non-copyable pieces of data that can only be viewed or unlocked with a special key.
NFTs made headlines recently with artist Beeple selling a collection of NFT art pieces for $69 million (it’s the third most expensive sale ever for a living artist).
This sale was considerably tamer. Created by Mikey Fischer, Adam Swig, & fnnch, the proceeds of the auction benefited the organization Value Culture, a non-profit dedicated to producing and supporting artistic, educational, charitable, and spiritual events to inspire individuals to give back to communities.
The afikomen was “hidden” during a virtual seder on the new social media app Clubhouse.
“We wanted to have some fun this Passover, engage a new audience with Jewish culture, and recreate this ancient tradition virtually,” Adam Swig told us over email. “I was also helping to produce the Clubhouse Seder night of 1,000 Jewish Stars and as every seder needs the afikomen, we thought this idea would compliment the event, as NFT’s are a very popular subject on the clubhouse app. 43,000 people checked out the seder on the app, and 3 hours in a young woman found it hidden in Miriam’s profile. The other piece was auctioned and raised $4k for my non profit organization, Value Culture.”
Fnnch is a Stanford educated computer programmer turned artist known best for his “honey bear” murals.
“I worked with organizer @iamswig and PhD Mikey Fischer on a matzo NFT that will be divided into two pieces, one that will be auctioned for charity, and one that will be hidden in the room itself and free to whoever finds it,” the artist wrote on his Instagram. “This is meant to be a fun reimagining of the hiding of the afikomen, a tradition that is literally thousands of years old. Both NFTs have had their carbon footprint offset through credits that support the prevention of slash and burn agriculture and thus preserve forests.”
“The NFT craze is real,” Swig adds. “I love the ocean, waves are fun to ride. I think NFT’s offer a great opportunity for artists to be celebrated on a new medium, and I think it’s only the beginning of what will see end up represented by NFTs.”
As for the future of Jewish art on the platform?
“I’m excited for Jewish culture to hit the blockchain, hopefully the Afikomen NFT by fnnch will inspire more of it,” concluded Swig. “NFTs are so broad, it’s really going to be up to creators to use their imagination and skill sets. It’s a great opportunity with a lot of potential.”
Originally Published Mar 31 2021 07:48AM EDT