The art world, like everything else, is in constant renewal at a time when technologies are advancing at high speed. So much so that a new form of artistic expression is gaining ground these days: crypto art. Cuba is also beginning to insert itself into this world, and Gabriel Guerra Bianchini is one of the people most linked to this.
Just a few months ago, this Cuban photographer made headlines by entering the NFT (non-fungible token) market and selling his first coin with these characteristics: Hotel Havana. From now on, he does not appear as an artist or creator of his own work, but as a collector.
This collection of very peculiar monkeys is currently the second largest in cryptographic art. They are caricatures, all different. They are called Bored Apes Yacht Club and there are 10,000 of them around the world, hence their exclusivity.
Gabriel Guerra Bianchini has the only monkey of those 10,000 in Cuba. With him we talked a little, and here we leave you the details.
from where and how comes this collection?
These Bored Apes, these 10,000 monkeys, were created by four artists. They are different caricatures from each other. At the end of April, this collection was released under the name NFT.
There were already a few collectibles like Cryptopunks that had been around since 2017. But when these monkeys came out they became popular very quickly among the artist and collector community. All 10,000 were sold out overnight, something that hadn’t happened in the history of NFTs. It earned its creators over $2.4 million in just 10 hours.
Why is everyone interested in the Bored Apes?
These monkeys had a large following due to the explosion in their sales after the launch. Not only is the design attractive and has many looking for monkeys related to their personality, but they are also cute avatars to use as a profile picture (PFP) inside and outside the NFT community.
But the most revolutionary thing was that, upon purchase, the creators transferred the intellectual exploitation rights to the collector, which happened for the first time in a collector’s item. This allows artists to tweak them however they see fit and resell their creations, or sell them printed on clothing, or embed them in a video, however they see fit.
From then on, and because the day after they were launched on the market, all 10,000 were already sold, they became very exquisite and their value continued to increase. They represent a story in space, it was the time when NFT was reborn and became popular in the world.
The creators of the monkeys have created an exclusive club for their collectors, where in addition to being present the greatest artists and collectors of the NFT, the group helps each other, as if it were a family. This fraternity generated by a collector’s item was the most important added value.
How did you manage to acquire one?
I was able to buy one of these monkeys the day after the launch, for the price of 1400 USD or 0.54 ETH (Etherum) at the time. I kind of followed my intuition on what was going on, because I had never had a passion for collectibles, I don’t have that culture and I didn’t understand it either.
But the night of the great boom I was in a bedroom in Clubhouse on NFTs and major collectors and community leaders kept talking and buying the Bored Apes.
I remember before buying, my wife and I looked at each other as if wondering what we were doing, and why spend so much money on a drawing, on a JPEG. We have been victims of what is known in this world as FOMO (fear of missing out), a feeling that must always be handled with great composure and intelligence. In the end, I used some of the Ethereum I earned from my first works sold as NFTs and bought my first Bored Ape, number #3262.
With all this explosion and interest that monkeys have generated, their value must have increased much more… what does this mean for the NFT world?
Until a week and a half ago, the cheapest Ape was around 7 ETH, or around $14,000.
But last Friday, something really unusual was announced. Christie’s auction house, one of the oldest and most prestigious auction houses in the world, has announced that several Bored Apes will be auctioned at Christie’s Hong Kong on September 17.
This caused the cheapest price to acquire an Ape today to not drop below 14 ETH, or around $43,000, and all this in less than a week.
This cements them as one of the most important historical items in the world of digital art, as so far the only NFT collectibles that have been auctioned by Christie’s are the Cryptopunks, which are the first collectibles ever created. The fact that the monkeys are now coming to an auction from this house is historic.
Where is Bianchini in all this?
In the midst of it all, I find that of the 10,000 Bored Apes in existence, in the collection of less than 5,100 people worldwide, one is mine.
I first bought one, which I had until a month ago. I bought it for $1,400 and sold it for $18,000, just before Christie’s announced, AND of that $18,000 I put $15,000 into another Ape, which is now worth more of $43,000 after the auction news.
Are all monkeys worth the same? In what lies its value? How much is the one you have worth?
The value of all monkeys is not the same, some have higher attributes and rarities than others. With that, I can tell you that there are some that have been sold for over $642,000. Even more.
And those to be sold at Christie’s auction are sure to set a record sale.
The value of mine is what I determine and who makes the decision to pay that amount, but on the 10,000 monkey rarity scale, it’s in the top 4,000. However, that’s something I don’t want to sell, which I keep for the moment because it is part of the history of NFTs and, as long as it is mine, it allows me to continue to be part of a community that opens many doors for me .
In time, they will appreciate. For example, Cryptopunks, which were first collectibles in 2017, today have an average value of $169,000, and the highest sale to date was $5.6 million.
It all sounds surreal, but it’s definitely an awesome culture. During this time, I continue to dedicate myself to the creation of my works as NFT and to elevate the Cuban community of artists, many of whom are already present in this new world of the arts.