Paying homage to the famous actor Anthomy Hopkins as Dr. Ford in the hit series Westworld, the piece is one of the very first of its kind by a Moroccan artist. To celebrate this launch, the artist has also put on sale a limited series of 40 copies of fine prints of his work, sold out in just 72 hours, testifying to the public’s enthusiasm for this new type of art.
“My goal through this work was first of all to pay tribute to Sir Hopkins, for whom I have immense admiration,” said Ali Kanane. “The idea then came to me to make it a real collector’s item, like physical paintings. For this, and given my background as a videogame designer, Blockchain technology and the NFT standard were obvious choices. In view of the public’s feedback, I think that this technology opens up new horizons for artists by allowing them to quickly and efficiently reach a global audience and to transcend borders, especially in these times of pandemic when exhibitions are complicated to mount.”
In an art market that has been sluggish since the cancellation of exhibitions and fairs, NFT works have revolutionized the artistic landscape, propelling many new, hitherto unknown artists onto the world stage. In 2020, the NFT art market generated more than $ 250 million in transactions. As a reminder, it was in the world of video games that the first NFTs – purchasable only in cryptocurrency – appeared in 2017, before winning other categories of collections.
Ali Kanane is a designer and concept-artist from Casablanca who joined the CEGEP institute in Matane, Quebec, before collaborating with the famous video game publisher Ubisoft, where he worked. He was notably in charge of character and environment design for games such as Rayman or Les Lapins Cretin. After the closure of Ubisoft’s Casablanca studios, Kanane flied to Europe and spent nearly 4 years between Madrid, Berlin and Warsaw, where he collaborated with different brands such as Coca-Cola, Puma or Converse on projects from varied fields like urban art, or street-wear fashion. Back in Casablanca in 2019, he set up his new workshop there to work on new projects.