I gave this blog post a lot of thought before writing it. And I wanted to be careful so as not to mince my words. Also, I did not want to come off as pretentious or disingenuous in any way with regard to what I am about to say. So, I will start off with the question in the title of this post: “Why buy a Republican Jesus NFT?”
Well, the question above begs yet another question, first of all, as to why would anyone want to buy any NFT that may be for sale or auction. To start, I found this article on NPR titled What’s An NFT? And Why Are People Paying Millions To Buy Them? and there are two quotations that I am going to place below that make a lot of sense:
- ‘”Remember those days where people would line up for the newest Nike Air Jordan sneakers at the physical store? This is the new digital equivalent,” said Katie Haun, a general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
- “It’s everything that brings together culture, and it’s also a bet on the future of e-commerce,” Haun said.”‘
To the credit of those who made millions selling the digital assets – “non-fungible tokens” -and who took “an internet hobby to the mainstream,” these pioneers of the NFT market were successfully able to lure hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have a lot of money, to buy into a totally new concept. It should be noted that this concept is one the world has never seen before and which still many do not quite understand.
Nevertheless, it was the blockchain underlying all of this that made ‘a market’ out of what are thought by many to just be “digital pics!” (NFTs have of course bloomed into all kinds of things including music, videos, GIFs, etc.) For those who are still learning about what NFTs are, they are not like other assets in so far that the blockchain provides a way of making an ironclad authentication certificate of a one-of-a-kind thing. Each NFT, in essence, has is own unique identification and signature that cannot be replicated because the code is so complex that an original to be forged would take a veritable miracle. So assuming 500 years from now these NFTs still existed – I know, a fantasy, but assuming – the code on the art will show any buyer that they are getting the “real deal.” For a collector that is a big value and essential element of buying something rare that has a huge price tag on it. With physical objects like old paintings or other collectible things, a lot goes into verifying and authenticating rare objects to the point where there are literally professions dedicated to the authenticating of collectible items. If you have ever watched Pawn Stars, you will definitely know what I mean.
Okay, so why would one want to buy a Republican Jesus NFT other than the fact that you can get something that is rare and can be authenticated for eons to come? Naturally, and as with anyone who buys art from a relatively unknown artist, they a) like the art, and b) may want to support the artists, like a patron of the arts. Art patronage is a big reason to buy a “starving artist” creation. And what about that liking the art thing? Well with all the hype surrounding NFTs people paying good money on new NFTs, they likely have an expectation of a return on investment. It may not matter to the buyer whether they like the art. Making money is the goal, and so the investor will have a certain criteria when buying, such as the prominence of the artist/project or the utility of the NFT including rewards or income therefrom, etc. Smart investors will not buy an NFT simply based on the hype knowing that many NFT projects can moon and crash or could otherwise be a “rug pull.” (A rug pull for those who do not know is where the developers of the project hype it up, make a quick profit, sell and disappear leaving buyers in the dust as their NFTs plummet in value.)
WHAT IS THE VALUE IN REPUBLICAN JESUS NFTs?
I will be straightforward here and reassure those interested in my art and my project, which generally falls under The Art of F.A. Chekki, that I am not going anywhere and regardless of sales, I will keep creating as I am invested in my own art, and including the art embodied in my NFT project, The Republican Jesus NFT Club. I have put my name out there on social media for several years now, “hung my shingle” so to speak, and have promoted my art under the above label for some time, mostly in the form of traditional artwork. Thus, The Republican Jesus NFTs are a “permanent fixture” of my creations and I intend to keep adding and creating because in the end, what do professional artists do other than create and promote?
Okay then, other than liking the art and wanting to support the artist (and if you join my Reddit community or Discord you will see that there are definitely people who fit into those categories) what’s next? I think this is a big deal, one that you do not always see with NFTs but I can only guess that it is out there with other projects, and that is anyone who owns one of my NFTs can apply for a limited copyright ownership of the art! What does that mean? It means a collector of the NFT can apply to me and if all looks good they can own a shared interest in the intellectual property, the copyright (c), of the NFT. That ownership gives the copyright owners the following rights I am granting: 1) the right to reproduce and display for a profit, i.e. the owner can make prints on coffee mugs or t-shirts and sell the merch and keep all the profits to themselves. Or, for instance, one could advertise their merch using the NFT in any legal fashion, etc. without seeking my permission, which is so as to “display” the art; 2) The right to prepare derivative works based on the original work, and that opens up a whole world for the ecosystem and metaverse that Republican Jesus NFTs could become a part of, but more so, in terms of illustrating that, it means an owner can make video-games, web-comics, or what have you using the art and the name, becoming a derivative creator with license to make all kinds of creative things. This value admittedly at this stage is speculative because the project is very early on and has just a small community at the moment, but one thing I can tell people, again especially if they join our social media and chat groups, is that people are really loving the concept and they get it because it has already marinated in the pop-culture and public domain for a while. The small community keeps growing week by week with real and genuinely interested people.
Before ending with the notes here on the Feb. 19th drop, to buy a Republican Jesus NFT is to buy not just a piece of “meme history” it is also to buy into a “community of interest” and statement, a rebellious and brazen one at that. If you understand the backdrop with the memes, you will understand the art. That is to say, you understand that this project is rebelling against religious hypocrisy, corruption, and greed. Yes, there is a major statement in the art, one of which questions the very dogmatic and pharisee-like aspects of Christianity as seen in the United States and other countries. Therefore, a collector is promoting the statement and rebellion against age-old institutions that to many in the community are believed to be organizations which are dedicated to the elite power structures that have engaged in centuries of religious tyranny thus having caused, and still causing, many of the world’s deepest problems.
Finally, on Feb. 19th we are dropping 13 new NFTs for sale under the nickname the project has bestowed upon this month’s collection as the “Grow Your Avatar” series, partially because they art is fun to make one’s social media or gaming avatar but also because those who use their Republican Jesus NFT as their avatar are eligible for fun gifts and prizes if they participate in the Discord. From televangelist to action hero Republican Jesus characters the satire and “pop-culture vibe” are embodied in some, while others poke fun at the January 6th insurrectionists who made headlines. Go to https://opensea.io/collection/-republican-jesus to check them out when they drop on Saturday, February 19th, after 10:00a.m. CST, USA.