Recently, NFT Culture was lucky enough to sit down with world-renowned photographer Matthew Jordan Smith to discuss a myriad of topics from what makes him tick, what inspires his work, why he began exploring NFTs, and what is next for him as he continues to explore the NFT space. We want to sincerely thank Matthew Jordan Smith for the time he took to sit down with us and look forward to watchin his NFTs soar like his non-digital photography.
Matthew Jordan Smith is an American photographer based in Tokyo, Japan and working between Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles. He has photographed some of the worlds most famous celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Angela Bassett, Tyra Banks and more. His advertising clients include Olay, Pantene, Revlon, Showtime and HBO.
In his spare time Matthew focuses on personal projects, photo exhibits and book projects. To date, Smith has published three books, Sepia Dreams, Lost & Found, and Future American President.
He has received numerous awards including the Vision Award and the George Eastman Power of Image award. He is a Nikon Ambassador and the host of the Master Your Lens photography podcast. Matthew is represented by LVA Represents in New York City.
Famous Entrepreneur, Public Speaker, and Celebrity Gary Vaynerchuk has announced his first of a few NFT projects launching in 2021. VeeFriends is described as NFTs that each have a unique story behind the characters with purposeful structure to the VeeFriends tokens. By purchasing a VeeFriends NFT, the holder gains access to Gary Vee related benefits. He also states, Before purchasing any VeeFriends NFT, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with all the VeeFriends characters and what each token has to offer.
How are the VeeFriends NFTs organized?
There are over 10,000 VeeFriends NFT tokens organized into three levels, Access (300 Tokens), Gifts (555 Tokens), and Admission (9,400 Tokens).
Group Access: 165 of the NFTs contain group access allowing the holder the ability to redeem their token to spend time with Gary Vee and other group level holders.
One to One access: 108 Tokens allow the holder to redeem one on one time with Gary Vee.
Competition Tokens: 22 Tokens that allow the Holder to compete with Gary in a game. The details of the games are not yet available.
Scholarship Access: 5 tokens that allow applicants access to the opportunity to redeem mentoring and coaching
Gift Tokens: 555 Tokens. These are verifiable tokens that are gifted and curated by Gary and his team allowing holders access to 3 years of VeeCon
Admission Tokens: Each of these come with different levels of access and raribility. These tokens also include a 3 year pass to VeeCon
VeeFriends Auction Details
In order to create a VeeFriends marketplace and to do our best to ensure no auctions can be maliciously bid on or manipulated we have implemented a Dutch auction. This means that every VeeFriend releases with a timed auction and an initial start price and continues to decline in price over time to its floor price. Once a VeeFriend token is live on auction, anyone can bid and then purchase on that VeeFriend at any point.
You can learn more about the auction and the project on the VeeFriends Discord.
Gary Vee has been passionate about NFTs before their rise to national prominence and attention. Lucky for NFTCulture, he often talks about the idea around “NFT Culture” in many of his videos. Gary describes his passion for NFTs better himself:
Much like 1995 and 2005, when Gary saw a macro trend with the internet and then Web 2.0, he knew the only way he was going to understand NFTs was to actually be a part of it. Gary believes that NFTs will be here for the rest of his life. Gary intends to actively be consulting, investing, advising and speaking about NFTs, and so he needed to have his own project to test, learn and understand everything about it. At the end of the day, Gary is a practitioner and operator. He would never speak about NFTs unless he was entrenched in how they work and involved firsthand in the process.
With VeeFriends, Gary is essentially staking his reputation and name and tying that to real world non-fungible tokens that collectors can buy, sell, and trade. The additional access to his celebrity and network are also incredibly compelling. Additionally, this association affirms his commitment to the NFT category and space and the value that can be derived by the collectors even if NFTs wane in popularity is still accessible through his commitments and VeeCon. We suspect that the rarity, reputation, and affluence of his fanbase implies likely success for this project. It will be interesting to see what other gamification elements he may have up his sleave.
Rolling Stone just announced that famous photographer Jesse Frohman will be selling over 100 NFTs of Kurt Cobain’s final photoshoot before Kurt’s suicide in 1994. Titled the “Last Session” the collection includes over 100 images that will be sold as a single bundle to the winner. The starting bid for this auction is 27.27 ETH (Kurt and Other Famous Artists died at 27) which is nearly $75,000 as of this post.
Additionally, the photographer is releasing 10 1/1 Editions titled the “Nevermind Editions” which are 10 quadriptychs (the famous Warhol style) that will be listed for auction starting at 2.7 ETH each.
Finally, there will be 20 NFTs titled “In Utero” starting at 1 ETH each.
The auction will run from May 3rd through May 7th and will likely fetch far greater interest as we near the auction date.
The good news is this that a portion of the sales from this drop will be donated to the JED foundation (a non-profit organization designed to protect emotional help and prevent suicide in teens and young adults.
In addition to the 104 iconic images, contact sheets, and polaroids, the auction winner will receive one print of their choosing from the collection and the opportunity for their own photoshoot with Jesse Frohman.
From Jesse’s Website:
Over the past 27 years, The Last Session images have grown into the memorial artefact of Kurt Cobain, an intimate moment with one of the last great rock stars, a hero to the disaffected, and an enigma that will never be fully understood.
And while Jesse Frohman’s work features in permanent collections at MoMA and the National Portrait Gallery, The Last Session has proven to be his definitive work. The Last Session NFT collection includes images, polaroids, and contact sheets with Frohman’s original markups, some of which have never before been seen. The landmark NFT release offers those who celebrate Kurt’s legacy a chance to share ownership of a moment that is etched deeply upon the soul of music and culture.
This morning, he announced plans to launch yet another non fungible token platform called Autograph (which is a fantastic name for a sports themed NFT marketplace). This particular platform aims to enable, big, big names across a variety of industries to sell collectibles. Patriots and Bucs teammate Rob Gronkowski made waves earlier this year by releasing his own set of NFTs. As the media hype around NFTs reaches critical mass, it’s not surprising that famous personalities are trying to take advantage of the space. While most are trying to launch their own tokens, Tom Brady is taking it to a new level with the launch of another platform.
Tom Brady will likely partner with other athletes, musicians and celebrities across pop culture to align their likeness with the new digital tokens based on blockchain. This presents an interesting challenge, as artists and performers, as well as athletes try to make money on their likeness, well likely under contract with recording studios, professional sports leagues, and more. We recently interviewed Mark Cuban, about these topics and he provided some interesting insights on how the future of non fungible tokens and celebrities will be handled.
Right now, the space is incredibly convoluted, with more and more marketplaces, entering almost daily. This creates challenges for collectors from a counterfeit perspective (especially on open platforms and marketplaces) overlap between what is real and authentic vs counterfeit NFTs becomes harder for collectors to decipher (which candidly is why we traded nifty culture.) We want to help our audience decipher, where artists are producing work across all of these platforms in order to find the best value for the community.
Finally, the Tom Brady Autograph platform is partnership with co founder and CEO. Dylan Rosenblatt, who stated that autograph plans to bring together some of the world’s most iconic names and brands with best in class digital artists to Id create the launch nifty, and allow collectors groundbreaking experiences based on a community of fans and collectors.
Eduardo Pena is a successful artist best known for his work massive projects including Ready Player One via ILM and LucasFilm as well as other major Entertainment and hollywood mediums. He recently entered the NFT space to further explore his own characters and universe known as COSMO-MORFO which have already sold out on Foundation. We expect great things from this incredible artist as the industry learns more about him.