By Shanti Escalante-De Mattei
Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, a major collector whose holdings run the gamut of Latin American art to conceptual art to video art, is getting into the NFT game. Using 3D scans, works from her collection, which boasts over 2,000 pieces, are going to be made into an NFT tarot card deck, thus the name, NFTarot.
The first fourteen NFTarot cards of a 44-card deck are scheduled to go on sale on LiveArt, a Web3 art platform, on October 6. Half of the cards display works by Gustavo Perez Monzon, a Cuban artist whose geometrical drawings and installations made with wires and thread are credited with bringing conceptual art to his native country. The other seven cards display works of Glenda León, a Cuban artist known for her video art.

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A portion of the royalties from the NFT sales will benefit the artists who created the original works, while the majority of the sales’ proceeds will used to support her eponymous foundation, known as CIFO, in its artist commissioning and grant programs.
The sale will inaugurate Cisneros’s new initiative, eDigital.ART. In a release, eDigital.ART is described as a “new NFT initiative [that] connects collectors to works by artists represented in the renowned Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection.”
“The collaboration with eDigital.ART builds on my lifelong mission to advocate for Latin American artists and raise global awareness for their practices,” said Fontanals-Cisneros in an email to ARTnews. “Not only can we expand the range of collectors for these artists through the NFT format, but we can also bolster the impact of the critical support that CIFO provides to Latin American artists around the world and directly support artists through the ongoing royalties enabled by NFTs.”
It is a novel way for Fontanals-Cisneros to extract value from her collection without having to actually sell off her prized works, which includes the likes of John Baldessari and Olafur Eliasson alongside the work of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Vik Muniz, as well as Lygia Clark and Luis Camnitzer. In 2018, she announced that she would donate some 400 works from her collection to the Spanish state, but that agreement was canceled after a change in government. Earlier this year, Fontanals-Cisneros partnered with Ars Electronica to create a new grant program to support Latin American artists working with technology.
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