The famous British photographer Platon’s NFT eyes are full of stars – Cointelegraph Magazine


British photographer Platon, known for close-up portraits of world leaders, is using NFT photographs of human irises to show how humans can be reduced to unique but unrecognizable images. He even made a self-portrait of his own iris-but if it is placed in the iris lineup, he can’t tell the difference between his own and the others.

Platon uses only one name—like Prince, he said.

His first human portrait reduction took place in June 2021, when he auctioned 12 anonymous irises in the form of NFT, each priced at $111 on the LGND.art market. Those who bid for the NFT each have a mint, and they don’t know whose iris NFT they are buying.

They brought a surprise: it turned out that they were bidding to buy a portrayal of Kobe Bryant, Harry Styles, Harvey Weinstein, James Comey, George Clooney, Donald Trump, Kara Delevingne, Bill Clinton, Caitlin Jenner, Alicia Keys’s NFT of Iris, Spike Lee and Maria Martha Alyosina. They are all sold out, but remain static in the secondary market because the holders seem to want to collect these strange works of art.

Picture from Eye Love You, Eye Hate You II (Source: LGND)

Star photographer

In a career full of portraits of outstanding celebrities, Plato now focuses on human rights, and is more concerned and satisfied with capturing the faces of activists. In 2008, as part of a project commissioned by The New Yorker, he spent a year documenting civil rights leaders across the United States.

However, although his mission is now a virtue, his world leaders and celebrities shooting are legendary; he uses his camera to tell stories and often asks provocative or eclectic questions—this is his superpower.

For Plato, move in NFT It is logical. “Photographers and artists often innovate and seek new technologies. We like to enter new spaces and experiment,” he said.

He is now obsessed with documenting human rights and working with the United Nations on projects. He established his own foundation, the People’s Portfolio, to amplify the voices of the neglected. Important people will not scare him-he will not scare easily.He quoted Martin Luther King, he said Beware of the illusion of supremacy.Funds raised from these recent NFT declines are used directly for the foundation.

Muhammad Ali
Plato’s portrait of Muhammad Ali (Provided)

Platon treats everyone the same. He doesn’t care whether they are human rights defenders, activists, former political prisoners, or heads of state.

“They are all people. Be nice to people. Be curious,” he said.

“My job is to be a cultural agitator. When I see NFT, I understand that this is a way for me as an artist to control my work. Feel the sense of empowerment-artists have a long history of losing control over their creative output. With NFT, I can see that we are reducing middlemen-we artists go directly to collectors. I see.

“I also understand that through NFT, I want to reintegrate storytelling into this exciting new technology. This is not just technology; it is an opportunity to talk about the major issues we face in society-such as human rights, Climate change, poverty, women’s rights, social inclusion, racial equality and other issues.

“When I saw the buzz about NFTs, I wondered if I could hijack some excitement and draw it to important social issues.”

Platon’s first NFT was a portrait of Edward Snowden. He admits that the unpredictable world moves in mysterious ways. In April, Snowden’s NFT auction raised USD 5.5 million Donate to the Press Freedom Foundation, and then donate $5,000 to his own foundation.

Edward Snowden: Plato
Edward Snowden was captured by Plato (Provided)

Back to the beginning

Platon was born in 1968 and studied at the Saint Martin College of Art and the Royal College of Art. He started working in London and became a photographer. Soon, he accumulated portraits in his fascinating style, both real and dramatic, and earned himself the reputation of the British version of “Vogue”.

He didn’t realize this, but John F. Kennedy Jr. was looking for a photographer to launch his new George magazine in New York. Kennedy selected multiple portraits of Plato in the magazine and told his assistant that he wanted the photographer, and he didn’t even know his name at the time. Kennedy only knew that he wanted photographers to photograph people in a real way. He grew up in the inner circle, but wanted to present people-politicians and celebrities-as real people. Therefore, according to his work, Plato was discovered and invited to New York.

That was 1995.The slogan of the magazine is Not just politics as usual The image is not either. Plato said:

“John told me that we are working on a secret new project. He wants to humanize the most powerful person in the world. He gave me the opportunity. He said that I must always be respectful, but he wants me to make real photographs. .”

When Kennedy was tragically killed in 1999, Plato made a cover story for him on the same day. When the FBI greeted him at the airport and told him the news, Platon had just landed in Hollywood.

“At that time I had rooted in the United States, but I had to continue working without a mentor,” he said.

presidential suite

It is 2000. President Bill Clinton at the White House. Platon commissioned fashion magazine Take the official shooting. Platon believes this may be the only time he has shot a living president (in fact, he has continued to shoot six times in his glorious 30-year career).

The camera dropped from his hand like a James Dean cigarette, and he asked, “Will you show me love?”

Mr. Fashion
The cover of Bill Clinton is so iconic that Mr. Fashion reproduced it with Halle Berry in 2008. (Source: Mr. Fashion)

The immediate attention of the White House team-the impeachment trial for the Monica Lewinsky incident ended a year ago. Silence fell, everyone looked at Plato in horror, and an assistant leaned over Clinton’s ear and whispered: “Mr. President, this is not desirable. In this administration, we have enough love.” On the contrary, Clinton pushed him aside and said in his distinctive dragging voice, Shut up, shut up, I know what he wants.

The result was the famous crotch shot. Clinton was sitting with his hands on his knees and his legs akimbo, exuding charm and strength. Later, people said that the tie was an arrow pointing to the seat of power.

Putin in the Beatles

Contacted Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007.he is Time Magazine Person of the year. Plato is taking pictures. He thought: What do you want to ask this powerful man? So, he asked him about the Beatles. It turns out that Putin really likes the Beatles, and Paul McCartney is his favorite band member.Look at the resulting portrait of Putin and see him humming yesterday. no Back to the Soviet Union, Plato smiled.

This is not just a question-it is a way of telling a story and relating to his subject. Plato has a son named Jude and a dog named Sergeant. black pepper. Platon obviously also likes the Beatles.

Time Magazine Putin
The cover of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2007 was shot by Platon (Source: Time.com)

His lifelong photography experience has allowed Plato to gain insight into the heart of his subjects. Sometimes these subjects are the most powerful people in the world, sometimes they are deprived of power, and sometimes they are ignored.

He is now obsessed with the neglected. “It’s not that they don’t have a say, it’s just that people don’t listen,” he said.

He is among all the portraits of Plato. The distance to Putin is so close that when he holds the camera a few inches from his face, he can feel Putin’s breath in his hand.

“All my photography works are 50% themes and 50% me,” he said.

He is dismissive of constantly taking pictures and sharing on social media.

“That’s not photography, there is no connection. This is just mechanical. Our connection is taken away, and the COVID clearly emphasizes this.”

Cat Riot NFT

Putin was known to hate the feminist punk band Pussy Riot and defended their imprisonment on the grounds that they threatened Russia’s moral foundation.

Platon met Nadya Tolokonnikova from Pussy Riot for the first time after being released from prison. Ten years ago, he took pictures of her in his studio. They used rubbish to make masks in a mess in his studio. He took a picture of her wearing a mask instead. When we spoke, he quoted her speech in the dock before being sentenced to two years in prison.

She said: “It is not our three women from punk rock bands being tried here. It is you, the Russian Federation. It is not you who will judge us. History will judge us all. History will be the final result of whether our values ​​are correct or not. Judge.”

He knew he wanted to combine this powerful speech with her iris In NFT Come to celebrate her bravery.

Platon combines her iris with the settlement statement she read to create a unique NFT. The auction lasted for 7 days in September, but due to the above-mentioned unpredictable world, this NFT was not sold. However, this did not stop Platon. He has more irises and reasons to celebrate, and he plans to make multiple irises NFT placements in the future.

Harvey’s trouble

The core of these drops is a story. Every iris tells a story. Every story asks a question.

The first drop included film producer Harvey Weinstein (Harvey Weinstein). #MeToo movement.

“The theme of this portrait at the time was’Hollywood Bad Boy’. Now we know that he is a modern monster.

“What if I take 90%, 95% of the photos? Just shrink it down to the eyes, the window of the soul, and even further down to the iris. So what can we see? Can we still judge?”

This brings us to the headline of descent – The eyes love you, the eyes hate you II.

“The eyes are the most private part of the body; when we fall in love, we look deeply into each other’s eyes,” Platon said.

“If I strip away everything except the iris-can we love, can we hate? If all our iris are indistinguishable, then who can judge?”



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