Crypto-Inspired Artwork To Be Auctioned Off For Charity


November 24, 2018 3:00 PM

A philanthropic cross-country cycling trip has attracted two artists in the cryptospace.

Tour de Crypto was launched this year to simultaneously raise cryptocurrency awareness and funds for charity. The recently concluded inaugural event saw two bicyclists, Jason Berlin and Jovel Velasquez, travel from the Hamptons in New York to Huntington Beach, California, all while educating charities and donors across the US about cryptocurrencies and the benefits these digital assets can potentially provide to the donation process. Plus, the organization set a goal of raising $1 million in crypto for the Houston Area Women’s Center, a nonprofit dedicated to helping survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Along the way, two artists joined the effort, each donating a piece of art to help Tour de Crypto reach its $1 million goal. The artwork will be auctioned off at the Washington Elite AI Blockchain Summit, which takes place in DC from November 30 to December 1.

The first work, called “Balance on the Chain,” was created by Nanu Berks, a crypto-inspired artist who has exhibited her art at various blockchain events. Berks reached out to Blake Rizzo, Tour de Crypto’s head of charity affairs, to get involved and donate her artwork to the cause.

The donated mixed-media painting (it includes bits of recycled or upcycled computer hardware) features two faces, one “masculine” and the other “feminine.” The masculine side is “a piece made out of frustration turned into inspiration,” according to Berks. The masculine energy partly comes from the physical metals that adhere to the painting. The feminine side, on the other hand, contains “the eye of the collective consciousness” and “many fractal structures as seen in nature.” Berks refers to these elements as “feminine neuro networks.”

The second work, called “Blood on the Podcast Floor,” was created by Vesa Kivinen, a Helsinki, Finland-based artist who is known for launching the mixed-media platform Artevo. Rizzo met Kivinen at Las Vegas’ World Crypto Con, which took place a few weeks ago. There, Kivinen agreed to donate his artwork to support Tour de Crypto.

The donated art piece features a variety of seemingly incongruous elements: a backward FM symbol, the number 130 (a reference to the Bad Crypto Podcast episode that Kivinen was featured on), and a spattering of colors, among other attributes. The work has also been signed by a few influential figures in the world of crypto, including Vinny Lingham, co-founder and CEO of the identity protection startup Civic, and Charlie Lee, creator of the cryptocurrency Litecoin. Kivinen noted that “there is a lot of excitement around [‘Blood on the Podcast Floor’] with those signatures.”

Tour de Crypto intends to continue its event annually and fundraise for different organizations. Eventually, the team wants to “expand into races and other cycling events.”

Daniel Putney is a full-time writer for ETHNews. He received his bachelor’s degree in English writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he also studied journalism and queer theory. In his free time, he writes poetry, plays the piano, and fangirls over fictional characters. He lives with his partner, three dogs, and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

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