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Football and art come together in the first NFT exhibition of its kind





The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) celebrates the art of the beautiful game in a unique exhibition at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. From Strike to Stroke features 64 NFTs by 32 artists from the competing nations, while Artificial Intelligence (AI) will fuse the pieces from the contending two countries in each of the 64 matches into a unique piece based on the parameters and results of the game. The result will be a singular collection of 64 one-of-a-kind NFTs created through a collaboration of man and machine. Strike to Stroke opens at the Msheireb Galleria Mall in Doha, Qatar on Thursday, November 24, and runs until December 23.


Ithra, a global gateway and a cultural bridge between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world, channels the world’s passion for football into its infatuation with the arts as the world comes together for the football biggest stage that is the World Cup. The exhibition melds the man-made with the machine-made, and combines art, sport and technology in an innovative fashion.


The exhibition features the work of 32 emerging and established artists, each tasked with creating a piece representing their country and using their respective team’s jersey colors. After each match, the AI-powered algorithm will combine the artists’ creations with match statistics to generate unique pieces that represent each game. The final collection will be a unique set of pieces presented as NFTs – non-fungible tokens. These cryptographic assets are based on blockchain technology, and created in a process similar to cryptocurrencies.


From Strike to Stroke includes both traditional artists who have never created NFTs and NFT artists who had not worked within the traditional scope of fine art.


“The passion shared by football fans for the love of the beautiful game can be tangential to the passion shared by art aesthetes,” said Dr. Shurooq Amin in her curator’s brief to the exhibition. “By connecting 32 artists from both the traditional and digital arenas, Ithra not only bridges the gap between Web2 to Web3, and between football and art, but furthermore between human and machine, as the artists collaborate with AI generation technology to create unique NFTs that combine art, football and technology.”


The AI-generated Saudi Arabia-Argentina NFT is alongside those of other completed matches on OpenSea, the world’s first and largest digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and NFTs. Jeddah-based Saudi conceptual artist Amr Salih Bogari, whose work connects digital drawing, collage and photography, started his NFT journey last year. He said about his piece: “Here I highlight the fusion of love with different local cultures and how strongly they are interconnected in one land, one kingdom and one people. Green symbolizes abundance and white symbolizes peace. Sadu and Qat art are considered some of the most important local arts that reflect the beauty of the artistic and cultural details of this lovely kingdom.”


Argentinian expressionist artist Ezekiel Germàn is known for exploring human emotions through art. Blending pen, watercolor and acrylics, he is recognized as one of the top artists in the NFT space. “Argentines are very passionate about soccer, so in this piece I’ve tried to capture the feelings generated by the championship through expressive lines conveying vitality and dynamism,” he said.


For more information on Ithra and its programs, visit www.ithra.com.

For further information on the exhibition visit www.striketostroke.com









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