“A mind is like a parachute; it doesn’t work if it’s not open.” ~ Frank Zappa
For George J. Chanos, this quote has become a motto for his latest venture, People Reign LLC. The former Nevada Attorney General launched this art studio and online trading platform last month to showcase and promote emerging artists and transparency in the growing NFT Space.
“Most people know very little about NFT's or “Non-Fungible Tokens,” said Chanos. “They are not limited to digital art. They are a smart contract attached to a crypto token. The smart contract can represent anything of value. Anything you do with a contract you can do with NFT. You can buy a car, a home, or a business - all using NFT’s. They are an incredibly powerful new technological innovation.”
Chanos - who is also a sought-after business advisor and strategist, speaker, and published author - is no stranger to pursuing the opportunities to learn and grow with the latest innovations. He said when an artist known as “Beeple” sold an NFT for $69 million at Christies in 2021, he decided that he needed to learn more about the NFT space. After some research, he recognized the long-term significance of this innovation and soon after created “People Reign.” And Chanos said his vision is beyond launching a new business venture, it's about creating opportunities.
“Art can be a powerful agent for social change,” said Chanos. “Prior to NFT's, opportunities for artists to get recognized, make a living, have a voice, and benefit greater society have been primarily for a select few within the fine art community. This is why we launched People Reign, because we believe block chain and NFT’s present an unprecedented opportunity to empower artists, elevate their voices, and create positive economic and social value to humanity - today and tomorrow.”
An artist himself, Chanos paints, does sculptural assemblage, makes jewelry, and collects art. His writing also includes his latest book “Millennial Samurai: A Mindset for the 21st Century” that looks at the technological revolution, and how it will impact our lives over the next 3 decades.
People Reign is working with approximately 20 artists and intends to expand to more than 50. How it works is the artist creates a piece of digital art and mints it on the block chain. They offer it for sale at a set price or auction it off on one of many NFT marketplaces – like Open Sea, Nifty Gateway, Makers Place, or Foundation Room. When someone buys it, the creator receives an automatic payment (equal to the designated residual set forth in the smart contract), into their crypto wallet. When the same art is resold by any subsequent buyer, the original creator receives that same designated residual - in perpetuity.
The first group of artists to be featured on People Reign include the art of Billie Halliday, an unknown artist in the tradition of Banksy of London; Garilyn Brune, a deceased Los Angeles drag queen; Andy Young, also known as Strange Carrots; Lou Majors, a graphic designer and abstract artist famous for his graffiti art in Atlanta tagged “You are God;” and Shevi Al Faud, also known as veevinci, is a designer and illustrator from Bangladesh.
“I’m excited to be included in the People Reign collection,” said Al Faud. “One of the biggest challenges for any artist is getting discovered. People Reign represents an opportunity to expose my art to a much larger audience and I’m grateful for that opportunity.”
A similar sentiment came from fellow artist Andy Young.
“I believe NFT’s are the future. The possibilities for creatives are extraordinary,” said Young. “I am very excited to be included in the People Reign Collection.”
Having been called a “futurist” and a “visionary,” Chanos says he believes the world is at a “tipping point” and poised to either evolve into a “second enlightenment” or fall into “dystopian division.” He believes the choices we make over the next decade will profoundly influence our collective future over the next century.
“The emerging NFT space is one of the fastest growing opportunities on the planet,” said Chanos. “It’s highly speculative, largely unregulated, and highly volatile. It is in one sense a speculative bubble, with a lot of worthless offerings. At the same time, it is a space in which some offerings have become incredibly valuable. It is not a fad. NFT’s are here to stay, and they will only become more significant, more regulated, and more accepted as a medium of exchange. Today is ground zero in the NFT space. And that creates opportunities for those who can learn to successfully navigate the space.”