Among your most outstanding successes are having participated in 5 Davis Cup finals, obtaining 3 titles, in 2000, 2004 and 2009, together with a great generation of Spanish tennis players from the 2000s. What does it mean for you to watch your career reflected in these digital works signed by VUHO 3D?
It is always nice to see your successes reflected in a work of art but I am especially excited that they are digital works. I am not used to this interactive world but I find it incredible and I am excited to enter something that is clearly growing and that is defining future generations. Being one of the first athletes in Europe to enter this world is exciting. I have learned in the process and I am looking forward to seeing the evolution of the works that we have created in the digital world.
One of the works shows all the tournaments you have won throughout your career in an animated video in 3D format. Is there a specific moment that is more emotional or special for you? Which?
The artwork sums up my career very well. As we walk through different courts in the world of tennis where I have suffered so much and which have given me so much joy, while we glimpse the three moments that have most marked my career: Davis Cup 2000, Roland Garros 2003 and the world number 1.
Do you think sport is art? Why?
Art expresses ideas and feelings. Sport expresses ideas and how art does, sport manages to stir feeling in the viewer too. Both can create magical moments and change the mood of the observer.
How did you find out about the world of NFTs?
It is something that today you already hear from the past but without understanding it. Through some colleagues from the Academy and collaborators that we have had, I got to know him better and I dared to carry out this project. Part of my philosophy and of the Academy is to innovate, with meaning that yes.
Why do you think digital art is on the rise?
I see it in the children of my friends and family, even in my children even though they are still young. Their way of communicating and expressing themselves is different. I work with young people who prefer to send a thousand whatsapp to a simple call. It doesn’t seem like any fashion to me. I believe that digital art is a form of natural evolution of art and that it will continue to grow.
Tell us what attracted you to StadioPlus. Why did you decide to be part of the project?
It has collaborators with whom I have already worked. In something so new, trust is important and having positive experiences helps.
How do you think NFT technology can help the world of sports?
NFTs can help reach the very young, who have a much harder time keeping their attention on just one thing. I think it can be a great support for promoting the sport in the future. The clearest example is PSG officially announcing the signing of Messi through this technology. It was fast and very effective, giving an extra reality to that fact. I do not limit myself to a press release and wait to have it physically. It was very effective and spectacular from minute 1.
If Bitcoin (BTC) is the future of money, then what is Ethereum? For thoseunfamiliar with the cryptosphere,thisis a reasonable question. Likely because of everywhere in theexchanges and news, Ethereum and its native cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH) are appearing alongside Bitcoin. However, it wouldbe unfair to assumethat Ethereumis in direct competition with Bitcoin. There are multiple lenses,features, and even technologies.
Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain network using Ethereum, where users can trade non-fungible tokens (NFT), benefit from the holding, use and storage of non-fungible tokens (NFT), and cryptocurrency trading. You can play games, use social media and more.
Currently a Proof of Work (PoW) blockchain, we are moving to Proof of Stake (PoS) with Ethereum 2.0 for scalability and a more environmentally friendly approach.
Many see Ethereum as the next stop on the internet. If a centralized platform like the Apple App Store represents Web 2.0, a decentralized user management network like Ethereum is Web 3.0. This “new generation Web” supports, for example, decentralized applications (DApps), decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized exchanges (DEX).
All are automated and reliable versions of traditional and widely used Internet and financial usage. DeFi already has billions of total value trapped in the project and is expected to grow further.
History of Ethereum
Ethereum has not always been the second largest blockchain project in the world. Vitalik Buterin actually co-created a project to address Bitcoin’s shortcomings. Buterin published a white paper on Ethereum in 2013 that details smart contracts (automatic and immutable “what if” statements) that enable the development of distributed applications. DApp development already exists in the blockchain space, but the platform is not interoperable. Buterin wants Ethereum to integrate them. For him, integrating the way DApp works and interacts is the only way to stay engaged.
Thus Ethereum 1.0 was born. Think of it like the Apple App Store. Space for tens of thousands of different apps, all following the same set of rules, only this set of rules is hard-coded into the network and enforced autonomously, allowing developers to enforce their own rules in the DApp … central part for Apple to modify and apply the rules. Instead, the power rests in the hands of those who act as a community.
How does Ethereum work?
Like Bitcoin, the Ethereum network exists on thousands of computers around the world, with users participating as “nodes” rather than centralized servers. This decentralizes the network and makes it less vulnerable to attacks, making it essentially less likely to crash. If one computer crashes, it’s okay because thousands of other computers are blocking the network.
Ethereum is essentially a single distributed system that runs computers called Ethereum virtual machines (EVMs). Each node contains a copy of this computer. That is, you need to validate all dialogues so that everyone can update their copy.
Ethereum vs Bitcoin
Bitcoin is the most common cryptocurrency, but the Ethereum community has the ambition to expand its projects. Money means digital money, which serves its purpose wisely. However, Bitcoin has its limits. This is a POW network that is struggling to expand, and some believe that the network is of value similar to gold. Bitcoin also has a strict limit of 21 million coins, which makes this argument possible even further. Meanwhile, Ethereum aims to surpass today’s internet infrastructure. We plan to automate many processes that still require intermediaries, such as using the app store and working with fund managers. ETH is used as a way to interact with the network, not as a way to transfer funds, but it is possible.
What has been achieved with Ethereum?
Decentralized finance is perhaps the greatest achievement of the Ethereum network. DApps capable of performing many functions in the ecosystem will appear around 2019–2020 and become more and more popular. The more DApps used, the more Ethereum networks will be used. The Ethereum DeFi scene is the biggest scene in the market, and successful DApps have brought more recognition to the platform over the years.
For example, artists make millions of dollars putting their work on the blockchain through non-fungible tokens (NFTs). You may be wondering why you buy digital art when you can take screenshots. Collectors want the property, that’s why. NFT also retains proof of ownership and acts as a form of secure storage. It’s basically an all-in-one for collectors, so it’s not hard to find attractive. This is exactly why you want the original “Mona Lisa” to be just a copy, even if the copy is indistinguishable from the original. NFTs also represent objects and accessories that can be used in online games. Players can decorate their homes and characters with the artist’s unique assets, providing advertisers with another source of income.
Advantages of Ethereum
In addition to decentralization and anonymity, Ethereum has many other advantages, including the absence of censorship. For example, if someone tweets something offensive, Twitter can choose to delete it and punish the user. However, on Ethereum-based social media platforms, this can only happen if the community votes. In this way, users with different points of view can discuss as they see fit and each can decide what to say and what not to say.
Community requests also prevent bad guys from being hacked. Attackers have to check 51% of the network to make changes, which is next to impossible. Much safer than a simple server that could be compromised.
Then there are the smart contracts that automate many of the steps that central government takes on the traditional web. For example, Upwork freelancers need to use the platform to find clients and set up payment contracts. Upwork’s business model uses a fixed percentage of each contract to pay for things like staff and server costs. With Web 3.0, customers can easily create smart contracts that “when a job is delivered in X hours, the money is released.” The rules are codified in a contract and once written, neither party can tamper with them.
Ether redemption has never been easier. Companies like PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo support fiat to cryptocurrency purchases directly within the app. Given the millions of customers on each platform, they are forced to join as soon as possible.
Antonio Redondo is a visual artist and professional photographer who combines artistic photography with advanced digital editing to create his crypto-art. Like Mateu, he has spent his life on a skateboard.
How and why was your leap from conventional art to NFT art?
I was already dedicated to the world of digital art through photography before this boom of the NFTs. Because really the NFT was born as such in 2015, more or less. What has happened is that as a result of the pandemic, both technological advances and the feeling of time seem to have multiplied, so I started investigating thanks to Arrés, who I was following on Social Networks, and he very kindly guided me. Javier was my crypto guru and thanks to him I am here today.
You decided to do this art piece because of your admiration for Jaime. What do you admire about him? What have you wanted to say with this artwork?
Jaime has many good things, I admire Jaime’s naturalness when speaking, his sacrifice, the effort he has made to be there and more things really.
What we wanted to express is that any obstacle that crosses the your path, with effort, dedication and perseverance can be overcome and you’ll get to where you want.
You are also a skater, since when have you practiced it and what does it mean to you?
Skateboarding for me has been a very important part of my life, I started skating when I was 12 or 13 years old. And it has been a way of growing up, of meeting people, of traveling, a healthy way to weave, because in my teens I didn’t like to do what everyone else did. At that time, in Spain, seeing a kid with a skate was something super strange, if so, you were “the weirdo of the town”. I liked precisely that, to get out of the normality, I have always swim against the tide.
Do you think there is a philosophical and/or lifestyle connection between skateboarding and the blockchain?
Yes, without a doubt, I think the blockchain and skateboarding have a very strong connection. Due to the suburban culture behind both worlds and although skateboarding is now an Olympic sport, both have an “anti-system” philosophy as their essence, an that makes them go hand in hand.
There are many reasons to collect NFTs, Digital Art registered in the blockchain.
Here you have some:
Becoming a patron of the arts — Digital art breaks borders, allowing artists to reach global collectors. The purchase process through the blockchain guarantees the rights of the artists and is the foundation of a stable future for the artists.
To invest — The same that happens with physical art, digital art is an investment option. Artworks can be resold for a profit on the many public secondary markets, with collectors already realizing returns of 10x+ in only a few months.
The pleasure of collecting — The acquisition of a work of art that represents a moment, a feeling, an emotional concept that is difficult to convey in any way other than through art. The sensation of acquiring something unique and with at the same time it is cooperating in the stability of creation at a global level in a way that guarantees that in the future (and in the present) artists can make a living from art.
Exhibit online — There are a lot of online options available for displaying your digital art pieces, such as virtual galleries, museums and events that exist online.
Share it in physical dispositives — You can display your NFT artwork in your personal space, using a digital frame or tv. You can have it in your home or business like other art portrayal.
Don’t you think it’s now the time to switch to digital art?
Discover the exquisite creations that we have created for your collection at StadioPlus.
Javier Zanetti is not only a great football player who has taken Inter Milan and the Argentine team to their highest level. “Pupi” Zanetti is also a visionary who has joined the world of digital art through NFTs together with our platform, StadioPlus.
● You were one of the most prominent players in Inter’s historic triplet, which will now be immortalized in a digital work. What did you think of the idea when it was raised to you?
The idea seemed great and innovative to me. The truth is that I had read something but still did not know the whole world of digital art and the infinite opportunities that arise from there! So it seemed like a very good opportunity to explore a world that until then, we had not known.
● What did the year of the triplet mean for you on a personal and professional level?
The year 2010 was one of the most important of my life! On a professional level I had the greatest joy, winning everything with Inter. Something that no one in Italy had achieved and that will remain in history forever. I had the honor of being the Captain and playing almost every game! And personally it was also a great year… Learning from each experience and maturing off the field.
● Do you think that sport is art? Why?
Yes, it is an art form… Because the athlete creates… and all the freedom of creation becomes art. So yeah… Then there are some more artists than others! Or are they going to tell me that Leo Messi is not a great artist? Hahahaha.
● How did you find out about the world of NFTs?
The culprit was Luis, Luis Scola. One afternoon in February/March he began to tell us everything that was happening in the world of basketball, especially in the NBA, and in the USA in general and we began to read and inform ourselves trying to understand this new world. Moreover, from there, many things began to come to me from the world of NFTs but when he began to tell, we looked at him strangely from the amazing things he was telling.
● How do you expect the work to be after meeting the artist Javier Arrés?
I saw his works and that style mixed with the world of football seemed to me something super original and unique. You see it right away and you associate it with his work! So I take this opportunity to thank Javier Arrés because he decided to join in this beautiful project and donate part of his work to the PUPI Foundation.
● Why do you think digital art is on the rise?
I see it in my children. It is the new generation that expresses itself through computers. I think it gives the artist endless opportunities to express themselves and the public to get to that art! I think that’s the point, where it becomes easier to get to digital art from any corner of the planet.
● Tell us what attracted you to StadioPlus. Why did you decide to be part of the project?
Together with StadioPlus we decided to put these works in favor of the PUPI Foundation and for 20 years now that everything that can be done to collaborate with the Foundation’s projects I say ”I’m here”. So let me also thank you here, for having thought and collaborated with my Foundation.
● How do you think NFT technology can help the world of sports?
It can turn historical moments into unique pieces, it can help fans feel closer to their idols, it creates new horizons… I think it can help! That everything adds up….
● Part of the proceeds from this NFT will go to the PUPI Foundation. Can you tell us a little more about this project?
Yes, as always, I take the opportunity to send them to our website www.fundaciónpupi.org to get to know us and see how we work. This year we have been working in Argentina for 20 years on various projects. We use the tool of sport but of course it is not the only one. We have helped thousands of children to create an alternative life in one of the most vulnerable areas on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Our model is being replicated in other cities such as Mar del Plata for example and we are always growing and carrying out new projects to help more and more.
I started teaching drawing and painting classes at the age of eleven. I loved drawing and continue to do so. In my case I have no memory of me without drawing.
● At what point did you see that digital art was your passion?
I think that cinema and videogames were important, but also seeing the possibilities that computers had in terms of drawing and art programs. I have grown along with that evolution with which I was always in contact. It is one more discipline, it is another tool and if you are creative it is normal to be interested in all of them and then stay with the ones that express or resolve the creative message you want to convey.
● How did you get to know the world of NFTs and why did they captivate you?
The truth is that I met them at the same time when some people contacted me to be part of a great crypto art platform, they explained everything to me and my interest has already arisen. I was captivated because it was the solution to the problem of selling certified and unique digital work.
● Would you make any differentiation between physical and digital art? What do you think?
The difference is the tools and logistics, but creating a work of art is the same in any format or in any way. In essence it is the same, change the wooden brush for a plastic one and the canvas for a screen.
● How do you think sport fits into the art world?
It always fit very well. The Discobolus, the famous sculpture of Myron is a sports work, in ancient Greece many were made and in all times. It is an important part of humanity and also a physical expression full of meanings, glory, defeat, effort … For me it is a great song and I love it.
● Why do you think it is interesting to invest in NFTs? What makes NFTs special?
It is as interesting as an investment as buying physical art, with the difference that now the NFTs are very new and are at the beginning with what anyone could get with a great work of art that in the future could be greatly appreciated. It is a digital art market and it works like the traditional art market, so if you are interested in art as an investment you should also be interested in digital art.
They are special because they are the first intangible assets that can be acquired with full ownership of that asset and all the authenticity. It is a very important leap in terms of digital.
● Where do you find inspiration? Where does your personal style come from?
Many things inspire me, movies, video games and many things that I see every day on the street. Inspiration is being open to receiving impulses of all kinds, without biases or mental barriers. The important thing is the will to take that inspiration and dedicate weeks and weeks of work to that idea.
My personal style is born from leaving me free to do what I like. From small to cut-out constructions, I like miniatures, I spent years playing the Tycoon Videogame saga and SIM city. In the end, you do what you like to see, I like to see many things and I mix them all. It is a fusion of many things.
● Why did you decide to collaborate with Stadio Plus?
Being able to collaborate and do works for great sports myths and having the possibility of capturing those feats with the support of the star is something great. I like to draw sports.
● What is the strangest thing that you have been commissioned to do?
An illustration for the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United States. Super friendly, they were clear about what they wanted, I did it and they were very satisfied. And they paid well. All phenomenal.