Multi-award winning South African wildlife artist Chris Fallows launched his latest works of art – and his first yet non-fungible token (NFT) – at the Start Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery in London last week on Wednesday 13 October.
Fallows has worked as a wildlife photographer, a host and an expert facilitator on more than 60 international wildlife documentaries for the BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic, among others, and has been making and selling museum-quality wildlife photography of endangered species for two decades.
The best-known work of the Muizenberg resident is Air Jaws.
Shot in 2001, it’s been widely acclaimed as the world’s most famous shark image. At last week’s art fair, 20 years after the picture was taken, Air Jaws debuted as an NFT, in which the clouds and water can be seen to be moving.
NFTs can be described as unique, one-of-a-kind digital assets that can be sold or traded – a collector’s item in the form of a digital file, if you will. NFTs are being tipped to be the future of fine art collecting, with works being sold in the world’s top auction houses for staggering amounts and revolutionising the way that artists are able to sell and profit from their work – as digital files. They can take any digital form be it a song, video, image or even a video game.
“It’s a great honour to have once again been invited to showcase my fine art wildlife photography at the Start Art Fair at the iconic Saatchi Gallery in London, and to fly not only the flag for South Africa, but most importantly for the wildlife species that I’ve been so privileged to spend time with in South Africa, Africa and around the world,” says Fallows.
The exhibition ended on Sunday 17 October and featured around 70 artists from 25 countries, but his work does not stop there.
For years, Fallows has been diverting funds raised from the photography to re-wilding projects, as well as supporting Wild Aid, Bush Life and the Zambezi Elephant Fund, dedicating 90% of his earnings to giving back to nature. As a result of their work to date, 1 500 hectares of a site in Namibia has been declared a nature reserve by Cape Nature and Fallows is now working on a longer-term project to acquire a substantial area of land known as the Lower Potteberg Nature Reserve, adjacent to the De Hoop Nature Reserve, to preserve that for posterity.