Best-selling author, long-time Weight Watchers spokesperson, and self-described global humanitarian, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is trying on a new hat: that of digital art gallerist.
The ambitions of the Duchess Gallery are grand; the details, however, are vague. It promises to mint “Cinematic Fine Art,” a somewhat undefined mélange of digital art, A.I. art, animated paintings, special effects, and spoken word poetry. The result, it claims, will be a new form of storytelling, one bringing cutting-edge technology to traditional aesthetics.
Ferguson’s latest business venture arrives through a partnership with curated NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway, with technical production support provided by BLKPRL Studios and Candy Studios.
The gallery’s first show, “Gateway To The Self,” is a collaboration between the Duchess herself, actor Laurence Fuller, and artists David Cheifetz, Mathijs, Jenni Pasanen, and Tania Rivilis. The news was announced during Miami Art Week 2022 with the launch taking place on December 22.
“As technology evolves, traditional aesthetics can find a new life in this contemporary viral world,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I am delighted to work collaboratively with renowned artists, and as well highlight emerging artists worldwide to expand my passion for storytelling through art.”
The scant aesthetic specifics provided suggest the gallery will focus on works that put a contemporary spin on traditional paintings from the Pre-Raphaelite and Romantic movements of the 1800s. For inspiration, the press release cites the influence of poets John Keats and Charles Baudelaire on contemporaneous painters, though who precisely today’s poets are in the analogy remains unclear.
If the work the Duchess Gallery hopes to mint and platform are ill-defined, the goals of the gallery are equally dubious and have a something of a savior complex tinge. “I intend to collaborate and feature artists from all over the world,” Ferguson said. “I am especially interested in highlighting artists from impoverished nations, who may not otherwise have an opportunity to showcase their talents on a worldwide stage.”
At a time of winnowing confidence in all things crypto and with the trading of NFTs down 97 percent year-on-year, will the entrance of British royalty into the NFT scene provide some timely credibility? Nifty Gateway certainly thinks so.
“Seeing the Duchess of York enter the digital art space is incredible validation for the medium,” Griffin Cock Foster, founder of Nifty Gateway, said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited to host this gorgeous, exciting collection from the Duchess of York on Nifty Gateway.”