NFTs Touted Democratizers? Artist Akshita Gandhi Begs to Differ.

Published on March 14, 2022

With the recent boom in NFTs, Mumbai-based artist Akshita Gandhi saw an opportunity to continue to champion social issues close to her heart – female empowerment and sustainability – while exploring the new medium. Although crypto art has been labeled the great democratizer of the art world, data from Art Tactic shows that only 16% of NFTs sold over the past 21 months were made by female creators. Furthermore, most blockchain technology incurs high carbon costs with a negative impact on the environment.

On January 9, Gandhi, a former construction worker, dropped her first NFT. It is part of a series that combines her paintings and digitally manipulated photographs with text snippets. Her aim is to promote female empowerment and sustainability in order to inspire a shift towards female inclusion and environmentally aware practices within the growing NFT space.

Gandhi Proves that Artists are Entrepreneurs

The NFT space is driven equally by profit, innovation, and creativity. This makes the terms artists and entrepreneurs interchangeable. For Gandhi, it was important to launch her NFT in close collaboration with women. She worked with the platform Throne and their Creative Directors to launch. Chimere Cisse is a former communications executive at Burberry and Julia Pavlovska is a Sotheby’s Institute alumni. To further support women working with NFTs, Gandhi aims to collect only female creators. The Indian artist Cyber Shakti was her first acquisition.

Spirituality and its symbolism re-occur in Gandhi’s work. “Gaia” a painting and light box that pictures angel’s wings beating is on view at ARUSHI Gallery in LA. It is part of the group show “The Hour Glass Overturned.” Describing her views on spirituality she says, “Unlike religion, spirituality cannot be taught. It comes naturally when we want to question what we have and why we are being taught.” Gandhi’s works tug on the viewer’s heartstrings while being positive, visionary, and energetic. She continues: “I believe in the religion of humanity above all else.”

Akshita Gandhi
Akshita Gandhi. Gaia, 2022. 10 second video. Image courtesy of Throne.

Gandhi’s NFT promotes environmental awareness. It is a 10-second video listed on the marketplace Throne with a starting price of 0.45 ETH. The artwork Gandhi showed in LA serves as the backdrop to “Gaia.” In Greek mythology, Gaia is the personification of Earth. The piece – depicting the wings of an angel – signals that we must protect each other and our surroundings. To acquire the unique NFT work, collectors need only download a wallet, such as MetaMask, and sign up for an account on Throne.

Gandhi Creates Space for Women

Bringing a female and diverse perspective to the field, Gandhi hopes to make real change. She has partnered with Nori, a carbon removal marketplace, and will donate 2.5% of sales and resale proceeds to the company for carbon removal. Thus ensuring that her NFT sales will benefit the environment. ”I want to inspire other female artists to participate and help build a new existence in the metaverse,” said the artist. Gandhi is actively building her following on Twitter, the social media channel of choice for NFT creators and collectors.

Editor’s note: If art for a good cause gets you going I urge you to read our feature on painter Emerald Rose Whipple. Whipple created prints in partnership with UNICEF and Orange Babies to support children in need.

Taylor F. Engle Freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. Engle has a B.A. in Communications and Journalism from California State University-Fullerton. Her work has been published in CultbytesThe HundredsEazeThe Bluntness, and The OC Weekly, among others. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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