Love is in the Air was purchased for $12.9 million by Particle at auction at Sotheby’s in May, Sotheby’s describes “Love is in the Air” as “a quintessential Banksy painting: instantly recognizable, image has become synonymous with the artist’s indelible graphic style, wry humor and galvanizing political commentary.”
1. First of all, thank you very much for this interview and please, tell us something about you, Harold, and your interest in Art.
I’m an operator by background. I’ve always been involved in projects from their very inception, and have fine-tuned the art of getting new businesses up and running in 90 days. My interest in art comes mainly from its ability to become an extension of oneself. Just like your choice in music, art speaks to you and is arguably one of the best ways to illustrate your personality, beliefs, and identity. If you are to walk into someone’s home, the art they display can be a good indicator of what kind of person they are. The greatest artists in history are the ones that are able to portray deep, intricate ideas and emotions through their creations, and thus the greatest collections of the world are able to represent so much more than what one can put into words. That is what spoke to me most about Particle — giving a wider community access to be able to express themselves through the vehicle of the world’s greatest masterpieces.
2. “Love is in the Air” is the first acquisition of Particle. What’s Particle?
Particle is attempting to bring fine art to a wider audience. While the elite collector community has traditionally shaped the course of the art market and art history, with blockchain technology and NFTs more specifically, we see an opportunity to allow for the decentralization of traditional practices of art collecting, ownership, and enjoyment.
3.- Let’s talk about the artist, Banksy. A true mystery and one of the iconic artists of this century. Why is “Love is in the Air” your first bet? Why Banksy?
That’s a good question. Banksy’s ethos, it seems, is to do things differently, all the while trying to bring art in its broadest sense to a bigger community. His daring, humanitarian nature and strong belief that art should be for everyone reflects the mission at Particle.
“Love is in the Air” specifically was the ideal painting as it embodies this peaceful act toward the status quo — the revolutionary act of throwing a bouquet of flowers. We’re not looking to destroy or attack the traditional art world or market structure, but propose a peaceful, beautiful alternative that we think many will get behind.
4. For this acquisition, you used to capitalize on the NFT trend. We would like to know why you choose this method and what you see is the future with NFTs.
NFTs started off as a way to certify ownership of digital goods. We are already seeing a shift in their application to codify ownership of physical goods within the digital realm. In addition, the crypto and NFT spaces have really shed light on the importance of communities in the Web 3.0 world. New projects like Particle need to put the community first to find success in this new world. NFTs not only enable us to achieve what we want technically, but also allow us to build a structure that will help us create and grow a large, engaged, and active community around fine art.
5. Let’s talk about the future of Particle. What’s next?
The goal is to build one of the greatest collections of fine art in the world — one that is by and for the Particle community. Through our co-founder Loic Gouzer’s eye and expertise we believe we are in the best position to do so. We will make sure Particle NFT holders get as much benefit from being holders as possible — this ranges from access to the Particle Foundation’s popups to enjoy the art physically, to dedicated events and Q&As with some of the art world’s greatest stakeholders, a presence in the Metaverse, and down the line involvement on decision-making for the future of the collection. The idea really is to democratize the world’s involvement in the fine art world — that is collection, discourse, and ultimately enhanced appreciation and enjoyment.
Thanks for everything, Harold, it was a pleasure and we can’t wait to see what’s next with Particle.
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