He is a known foreigner. For twenty-two years, John Hamon has posted posters in major cities in France and around the world. the same portrait of him, messy hair and a devilish grin on his face. If he no longer has the childish look of this photo taken at the age of 17, the credo of the street artist remains the same: “It is the promotion that makes the artist, or the zero degree of art. “Thank you his posters and projections on the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe, he found his audience. But the founder of “promotional art” remains a pariah in the eyes of cultural institutions. “I have always felt a form of rejection, even censorship towards my work in the official art world, I regret it. Not entering, I made projections at the Pompidou Center or the Palais de Tokyo and we did not hesitate to send the security services or interrupt my shows.”
No matter: when museums in the real world close their doors to him, John Hamon takes the virtual route. “You have to give the art back to the artists, and I saw in Web3’s decentralizing philosophy a way to achieve that.” In 2017, the street artist revealed Decentraland, a 3D world created by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano. Players earn plots of land there in the form of NFTs, on which they can build cooperative projects. When John Hamon spotted the District Museum there, “the first virtual museum created in a Metaverse,” he was immediately hooked. “It is an opportunity to get rid of pyramid institutions. Artists appropriate the spaces more freely, without waiting for the approval of a gallery or museum to exist”.
Contemporary art is dead, long live NFTs!
Since then, the artist has caught the virus NFT, another way for him to show his work to a wider audience. “From the beginning, when using urban space, my desire has been to make art as accessible as possible”, he recalls. IN the metaverse, the same thing happens: once connected, everyone can freely access exhibitions and events”. In 2020, he launched Hamoney, a collection of 5,000 zero-euro notes bearing his image, inspired by a quote from Voltaire: “Paper money always ends up returning to its intrinsic value, that is, zero.” . Behind the project lies a desire to democratize the blockchain. “I wanted to start with a physical object, a numbered ticket, registered on the ethereum blockchain, which will soon allow its owner to receive the equivalent in my crypto currency to access my NFT works,” specifies John Hamon.
Since the summer of 2022, he has also collaborated with names“a project created by Punk4156 in 2021, which aims to create one NFT – one Name – per day every day and forever”, explains Coral Orca, one of the initiators of the initiative. 20 minutes. In their DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), all name owners pool their money into a common treasury and vote for or against funding projects presented to them. John Hamon’s project to put up 1,000 of his posters with the iconic pixelated glasses of the Names won all the votes: 157 out of 157 votes. new realms,” adds Coral Orca.
For the street artist, Web3 opens a new era in art history. Evidenced by his campaign John Hamon killed contemporary art “, in 2021, during which he exhibited a casket in front of the main institutions of the genre (Center Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo and the Louis Vuitton Foundation). “Like modern art, contemporary art is a historical period, not a standard to which one must conform if one wishes to exist as an artist,” concludes John Hamon. You have to end it to move forward. It is not known what the next era will be called, but it will be related to NFTs and blockchain, and that’s why it’s essential to bring as many people as possible into these new ecosystems today.” project 20 minutes that’s exactly what it’s there for!