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Tim Kang. Photo courtesy of Tim Kang.

Paris Hilton Teamed Up With a 28-Year-Old Engineer to Found a Nonprofit That Helps Artists Mint NFTs | Artnet News

Artists looking to test the waters of the cryptoart world may no longer have to worry about paying pricy fees to mint their NFTs. Now, they can apply for a Sevens Genesis Grant, funded by Tim Kang, a 28-year-old software engineer and NFT collector.

Friday marked the launch of the first Sevens Genesis Grant exhibition and sale, featuring the work of 317 digital artists from 60 countries.

Kang announced the first open call for the grant in January, and had 700 applications within two days. He was inspired to offer grants by rising “gas” fees (the costs for minting NFTs), which he saw as a barrier to entry into the field.

“At the time, gas fees were starting to hit like a hundred dollars. That’s so much money for some people,” Kang said. “I just wanted to make sure that there is opportunity for anyone out there, no matter where you are or what kind of background you have.”

Tim Kang. Photo courtesy of Tim Kang.

Tim Kang. Photo courtesy of Tim Kang.

The grant winners were selected by a curatorial team made up of NFT bigwigs such as Blake Kathryn and Ness Graphics. Kang also decided to pay the NFT minting fees for artists who hadn’t been selected to receive one of the 175 inaugural grants.

“Our goal was to help fund people, and we all felt bad hitting the reject button,” Kang said. “So we opened it up to everyone to self-nominate to receive funding.”

There will now be two inaugural exhibitions, one for the grant recipients, and the other for the nominees. Each NFT costs approximately $250 to mint and host, and Kang estimates that he has invested $25,000 of his own money into the project to date.

He also has donors, including heiress and NFT evangelist Paris Hilton, who will curate Sevens Genesis’s next show, “Empowered,” featuring female artists.

Garabatfire, <em>We need to talk</em>(2021). Courtesy of Sevens Genesis Grant.” width=”819″ height=”1024″ srcset=” 819w,×300.png 240w,×50.png 40w,×1920.png 1536w” sizes=”(max-width: 819px) 100vw, 819px”/></p>
<p class=Garabatfire, (2021). Courtesy of Sevens Genesis Grant.

“Paris is very kind and genuine,” Kang said. “She’s the perfect person to do this women’s empowerment exhibition.”

Kang began investing cryptocurrency in 2016 and discovered NFTs last fall, after he purchased a new home and was looking to decorate. With his first purchase, he set a SuperRare record, shelling out 77 Ethereum, or $42,720, for Pak’s .

“It was just exciting because art was at the forefront of a new movement in terms of communication and expression,” Kang said.

Rob Hill, <em>Commonalities</em>(2021). Courtesy of Sevens Genesis Grant.” width=”899″ height=”1024″ srcset=” 899w,×300.jpeg 263w,×50.jpeg 44w” sizes=”(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 899px”/></p>
<p class=Rob Hill, (2021). Courtesy of Sevens Genesis Grant.

Kang—who said he considers seven “a spiritually divine number representing unbeknownst foresight and good fortune”—went on to buy Beeple’s complete  for $777,777.77 on Nifty Gateway in December.

In total, Kang now owns about 500 NFTs, and he’s not selling. He displays the works on his TV.

“I think the narrative [about reselling NFTs for profit] has not been healthy,” Kang said. “That’s not what I think about when I buy. It’s mainly because I love the art and I want to support the artist, and that’s why I haven’t sold any yet.”

veronizhuk, <em>C–t</em> (2021). Courtesy of Sevens Genesis Grant.” width=”473″ height=”1024″ srcset=” 473w,–t-139×300.png 139w,–t-23×50.png 23w,–t-887×1920.png 887w,–t.png 1170w” sizes=”(max-width: 473px) 100vw, 473px”/></p>
<p class=veronizhuk, (2021). Courtesy of Sevens Genesis Grant.

“A lot of NFTs are very low effort and kind of cash-grabby. I’m more interested in the storytelling,” Kang said. “I believe that art should be curated, with a theme and an intention.”

“Moving forward,” he added, “we’re going to be structuring these grant programs to provide educational resources and artists tools to further the development of artists who are very passionate and talented, but cannot afford to do these things otherwise.”

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