Blockchain’s role in data ownership is not a new idea, and it’s one that’s steadily gaining ground among individuals looking to regain ownership of their own data. Case in point is model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, whose non-fungible token (NFT) was sold in May 2021 at auction.
The NFT was a “conceptual artwork,” titled “Buying Myself Back: A Model for Redistribution,” featuring a photograph of Ratajkowski with her arms crossed in front of another artwork—a piece by artist Richard Prince, who appropriated one of her social media posts for his exhibition. Ratajkowski “reclaimed” image was sold for $175,000 after fees.
In an interview with CoinGeek Backstage, Ratajkowski said she hopes more people—women especially—will see the many ways that blockchain and NFTs can be utilized.
“It’s just such an interesting space, and my perspective on it is really specific but I’m hoping more and more women in particular can get on board with NFTs and the possibilities behind them,” she said.
Ratajkowski isn’t the only celebrity to jump on the NFT bandwagon, but her approach is an effective way to make a statement on ownership, as she detailed in a 2020 essay. Essentially, she appropriated the artist’s appropriation of her photo.
“My NFT was very specific. It was about more of a concept, more of a conceptual piece than about the actual artwork but it was really cool to see how people sort of got into the meta-ness of it and the concepts of ownership expanded on that,” she said.
“I think what’s so cool about the blockchain is, you know, the internet has been for me so much about taking control. That being said it’s also been a place where I’ve lost a lot of control. What I love about the possibilities of NFTs and blockchain is that you can always have ownership over images or artworks that are out in the world that are yours,” Ratajkowski said.
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