The renowned artist, Hanny Khoury, is riding the wave of NFTs and creating some new waves in the process. While very successful as a traditional paint on canvas artist, he is now involved in the NFT space. Because of his status and notoriety, his opening prices were much higher than most new NFT projects. Not a problem. He sold 7 pieces for 1 Eth each and an 8th one for 1.5 Eth. Now he has a piece (pictured below) currently on auction that is part of the "Wopa Land" series. It has already received an opening bid of 2 Ethereum, but is sure to go higher. It is called, "Window to Palestine, La la Land."
Before you write this guy off as lucky, you need to know a bit about his background. Although he was born to a stable and loving Christian family in Palestine, he went through an identity crisis at a young age. He lived in an area where conflict was the norm. The conflicts around him as well as the conflicts within him drove him to Jerusalem as a 19 year old. Searching for meaning and purpose, he ended up homeless for two years.
He survived those dark and desperate years and began to mingle with the art community. He began free-lancing his art around the age of 24. Even Hanny's early pieces reflect his personality and deeply enriching life experiences.
In 2012, he studied under the tutelage of artist “Michael Hallaq,” a professor and lecturer at the University of Haifa. It was during this time that he mastered oil painting and produced a number of unique and high quality art pieces.
He continued to paint, study, and produce intensely soul-stirring pieces of art. He studied the psychology of art, the history of art, and adapted what he was learning to his own passions and style. It was only a matter of time before the art community and the rest of the world would take notice. Over the next few years he caught a few breaks, was recognized by Guinness Book of World Records for a giant mosaic, and moved to Canada to find solace and peace (and to get away from the stress of Middle Eastern conflicts).
Canada was good for Hanny, where he produced a new art collection that would ultimately gain him international attention.
In 2019, he was able to display his talents in Bethlehem for a collector and art enthusiast. The gallery was named, “The Chaos of Senses.” It was displayed in a well-known hotel lobby where people from around the world would see it. Its success went beyond the expectations of either the hotel owner or Hanny. It was heralded as one of the most “successful individual galleries in the history of the Palestinian artistic movement.”
That exhibit established him on a path to fame and success. His pieces have been and continue to be in exhibits in cities like New York, Paris, and throughout the Middle East. Fast forward to 2021. Hanny’s art is taking a digital turn and is quickly beginning to trend among NFT enthusiasts and savvy collectors.
His website describes his digital art: “Oba Land digital collection consists of effects, visual kinetic shapes and colors, and color metaphors descending from the land of Canaan--dancing and creating a space of pain and borders.” These moving scenes take the viewer far away to a “Palestine liberated from the occupation.”
The site adds, “Through his art collection, the artist intends to create a simulation of happy attitudes, joys, new births, and cultural celebrations.”
Whether you love art or not, it is worth taking a look at this man’s digital creations. The above piece is simply called, "Broke." To view the mesmerizing movements, you must go to Open Sea. It is ironic that this art, which was inspired by the artist’s personal struggles, is so hauntingly peaceful.
As an artist myself, I see his NFT's as part inspirational, part escapism, and all enchantingly beautiful.