NFT Steez hosts Alyssa Expósito and Ray Salmond sat down with Victor Solomon to discuss his journey connecting his real-life artwork with NFTs and how he cultivates the community and culture that surrounds his art.
Solomon’s work centers around basketball – not just the subject matter, but the sport itself. For Solomon, the inspiration for his work comes from the fact that he wanted to play hockey in his early childhood. At the time, it was a sport that was not accessible to him, but it led him to discover basketball, which he found more accommodating.
“Basketball was such an inspiring platform for me because there is no barrier to entry.”
According to Solomon, the open nature of basketball is an “incredible parallel to everything in Web3”, and throughout the episode he explained the symbiotic relationship he experienced in building VesselVerse. , his collection celebrating basketball in the Metaverse.
Bridging the gap between real life and digital spaces
Asked about the liberating elements of creation and iteration in Web3, Solomon drew attention to the “invigorating” nature of being able to create things that cannot exist in real life, such as a “planet within inside of a hollow basketball”. He also noted the process of transforming physical elements into digital and composite renderings.
For Solomon, building a collection and a community to rally around was second nature. His extensive background in the mainstream art world has given him the same insight and structure he uses to publish digital collectibles.
Taking inspiration from other NFT projects like Nouns, Solomon’s digital VesselVerse collection works the same way as his real-life pieces, except a “vessel,” or basketball, is auctioned off every hour.
Unlike physical installations or gallery exhibits, Solomon noted that creating within Web3 offers participants and collectors greater influence over the direction of the work rather than their participation as a unique experience.
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Unleash collaboration within a community
When it comes to Web3 and the metaverse, one of the fundamentals of a successful project or ecosystem is the community that surrounds it and builds alongside it. Solomon described how “exciting it is to be able to work side-by-side with a growing community”, where diverse collectors allow an “open forum to visit, discuss and continually review the direction of the project” .
Rather than shy away from opening up community considerations, Solomon said he’s embracing the more decentralized aspects of community building and unlocking in Web3:
“What attracts me as a founder is to give everyone the opportunity to express themselves.”
For Solomon, the juxtaposition of Web2 and Web3 highlighted what he sees as “massive unlocking.” As he described it, the collaborative nature and “community spirit” present in Web3 has not been something he has experienced in his physical work and is “energizing”.
The biggest challenge Solomon currently faces is re-educating a segment of the ecosystem that may have had bad experiences in the crypto and NFT market. Nonetheless, Solomon suggested that the adversity is worth enduring, as the promise of Web3 is far greater than any particular negative experience.
For more on the conversation, tune in and listen to the full episode of NFT Steez on the new Cointelegraph podcast page or on Spotify, Apple podcast, Google Podcasts Or To agree.
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