Western-themed NFT artist Jeremy Booth has announced a new NFT project to bring more Western-inspired artists into the world of Web3.
The Western Art Dept gathers renowned artists whose work resembles more traditional Western art as part of an effort to preserve cultural and artistic heritage in Web3. Unlike a small Cow-Town, the world of Web3 art collectibles is big enough for many, let alone two. But, one can argue that only a few Western-themed artists involve themselves in the project.
Among them is Booth, a digital artist considered the absolute authority in Western-themed NFTs, especially since the release of his open edition “Boots” collectible. But, it is likely to change with the announcement of the Western Art Dept.
The NFT space has a truly bewildering set of collectors and keyboard warriors that believe any inspiration taken from any artist is a rip off.
I’ve been collecting this kind of art for almost 30 years. Yes, I’m THAT old lol.
I’m not asking you to be an art historian, just… pic.twitter.com/UWe11F0CMs
— Artifaction² (@Artifaction2) April 15, 2023
Bringing Western art to new frontiers
Announced on March 18, 2023, on Twitter in a five-tweet thread, Booth explains that the initiative aims to connect more traditional artists to the technologically savvy ecosystem of Web3.
The project will also ride on the strong back of “Boots” NFTs with limited edition collectibles. Booth hopes the project would allow a more diverse take on the centuries-old art style while also serving as a space to secure the legacy of famous Western-style artists.
“At the time when I started doing it in the space, I felt like I was the only one.” Booth told Decrypt, “It’d be really nice to see more Western art represented in the space because it’s got a really rich history on the traditional side of art.”
A collaborative effort
In the announcement, Booth mentions several names, but one certainly turned many heads. Robert Hagan is an internationally acclaimed painter with an immaculate traditional style. Yet, the 75-year-old artist had not tried his hands in the foreign lands of Web3.
2) How we'll start
We'll launch our first collection of Western artwork beginning of May, via @foundation
Worlds. It will feature 1/1s from incredible artists.
— jeremybooth (@jeremybooth) April 18, 2023
Booth had been talking with Hagan for a while and was planning to “give (Hagan) his own space for a day or two” as a gesture of celebrating the greatness of his decades of painting Western pictures. Fans of his work will be able to see what the maestro has to offer when Western Art Dept releases its first collection in May 2023.
The first collection will be available on Foundation, an NFT hosting platform. Members of the Dept will offer a single artwork for fans to get. It is in line with Booth’s more traditional method of dropping NFTs long before he began the “Boots” project.
The drop also involves Niko Ampuris for curation and strategic marketing support. Niko is an expert in social media and a community manager at Vayner3. But, the Western Art Dept is not affiliated with Vayner3.
NFT Revolution or “Boots” retaliation?
While this is a breath of fresh air for fans of the West, others speculate that this is an act of retaliation against the “Outlaws” Profile Picture (PFP) collectible, which allegedly plagiarized Boots’ works.
So… I’m pretty conflicted about that new pfp collection thats a pretty obvious reproduction of what another artist is doing here.
I know that his style isn’t new, and I know that the subject matter isn’t new… but together? Was kind of that artists thing, no? Moral grey area.
— SADBOI (@Sadboi0808) April 14, 2023
Some believe the initiative would create a higher level of accountability in the Western NFT community, preventing future acts of plagiarism. It remains to be seen whether the two parties will meet at high noon to settle the matter once and for all.