When I started working at Inked almost ten years ago, I was surprised at the amount of mail we received from prison. Even then, the art of sending letters was quickly disappearing, so the very concept of having a stack of “jail mail” coming in every week seemed completely unfathomable. But the letters kept coming in and as I went through them I was still amazed at the number of impressive drawings the inmates sent to us.
If you know your tattoo history, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Tattoos and inmates have always gone hand in hand like peas and carrots. Without the innovations brought by artists in prison, the explosion of black and gray tattooing probably would never have happened.
Art for Redemption aims not only to show the work of some talented artists currently behind bars, but also to provide a market for them to sell their work. “Art for Redemption is dedicated to harnessing the transformative and liberating power of the arts to reinvent justice,” said founder Buck Adams.
Part of this goal is achieved through an NFT marketplace launched in partnership with the environmentally friendly FLOW blockchain with Blockparty.
“Flow was designed from the ground up as a foundation for Internet-wide protocols and applications that also deliver a great user experience,” says Adams. “This helps keep transaction costs affordable and creates an easy-to-use customer experience. With this technology, we are able to offer you something that cannot be copied: ownership of the work. To put it in terms of a physical art collection: anyone can buy a Picasso print. But only one person can own the original. AFR strives to use innovative ways of selling art to enable our sales to any collector and to open our art to huge markets for our artists who are incarcerated and do not have access to this technology.
Art for Redemption has launched its very first NFT auction. The artwork is an art collage created by incarcerated prisoners that was originally assembled for a mural in Denver, but has now been redesigned as NFT.
You can view the auction here.
Below are other awesome works of art collected by Art for Redemption.