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Artist Tristan Eaton will release a nonfungible token, or NFT, rendering of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday to raise funds for Sean Penn’s nonprofit organization, Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE).
A limited 500 editions of the digital art will be available on OpenSea, an NFT marketplace. Each token will be offered at a flat price of 0.1 Ethereum (about US$300). All proceeds from this sale, which would amount US$150,000 if all the NFTs sell, will be donated to CORE’s ongoing relief effort for Ukraine refugees.
“Like most of the world, I’m horrified to see what’s happening in Ukraine right now,” Eaton says. “I want to help in some way, so I created this piece of art as a nod to the bravery of the great people in Ukraine.”
The NFT depicts Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a fighter, with a message Слава Україні (meaning “glory to Ukraine”), written in blue and yellow, colors of the Ukrainian national flag, across his portrait. The digital art was based on a mural Eaton painted outside his studio in Los Angeles, the artist says.
Eaton, 44, is best known as a street artist who paints murals in cities such as New York and Los Angeles. He also designed “Kidrobot” toys and posters for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
CORE will channel the funds raised to programs for Ukraine refugees in Poland and Romania, providing them with shelter, food, water, and other materials, says Ann Lee, CEO of CORE.
“We have allocated about US$5 million to Ukraine relief efforts from our own funding as an initial step,” Lee says, “We think this is going to a much bigger, protracted crisis, we need to provide people in displacement safe and healthy shelters.”
Co-founded by Lee and actor Penn in 2010 in response to the earthquake in Haiti, CORE focuses on global crisis response and community-rebuilding efforts.
Earlier this month, the organization launched a program in partnership with Mastercard, EML, the Stichting Giustra International Foundation, Tommy Humphreys, and the Parker Foundation to provide digital cash assistance to Ukrainian refugees. During the initial pilot 2,500 cards pre-loaded with €150 (US$160) will be distributed to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country to Poland and other bordering countries, according to CORE.
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