For the release of Grails II, Proof Collective partnered with Iconic Moments to bring the White House Historical Association and one of the world's most iconic traditional artists into Web3.
Iconic & Proof began by taking a deep-dive into the incredible archives of the White House Collection. Among countless moments in history, breathtaking photography, and incredible pieces of art, one bright painting of concentric circles stood out: Resurrection by Alma Thomas.
Resurrection was painted by Alma Thomas, one of the major American painters of the 20th century. During the 1960s Alma Thomas emerged as an exuberant colorist, abstracting shapes and patterns from the trees and flowers around her. Her new palette and technique — considerably lighter and looser than in her earlier representational works and dark abstractions — reflected her long study of color theory and the watercolor medium.
In 1966, at the age of 74, Alma Thomas painted Resurrection. Painting from her living room, she observed patterns represented in light and nature outside her window and organized changing light and smaller patterns into her paintings.
To interpret Resurrection for the Grails II collection, Iconic Moments and The White House Historical Association jointly selected digital artist and curator Linda Dounia Rebeiz, who uses physical and digital art mediums, including artificial intelligence.
“No work is a vacuum. She’s a black woman. I’m a black woman. Alma’s story could have been my story if I hadn’t gotten lucky.” Rebeiz told us. NFT art sales have allowed Rebeiz to become a full-time artist much earlier in her career than Alma Thomas was able to.
Inspired by Alma Thomas’s art and story, Rebeiz created Sparrows Do Not Fear the Sun. Season II, Grails #5, Rebeiz created the art through canvas, paint, artificial intelligence, and collage techniques.Grails II artists were revealed on August 25, 2022.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come.
Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.
As a part of every campaign, Iconic focuses on bringing the story of the artist, the institution, and its cultural importance to life.
“We placed the painting directly in visitors’ line of sight, across from the doorway and centered right between a pair of towering windows, so that its warmth would greet you the moment you stepped into the room.” -Michelle ObamaLearn more
Alma Thomas’s work Resurrection and Linda Rebeiz’s piece Sparrows do not fear the sun interplay through expression of form, color, and natural surroundings. The artists’ biographies and works also share many parallels with each interacting with technology, memories, and change.Learn more
“Softness is the thing that gets broken in you very early—sometimes often— and it’s a thing you have to find your way back to. I had to find that in me,” said Senegalese-born artist Linda Dounia Rebeiz. “That’s where Resurrection took me back to. That childlike softness and the moments that forged that.”Learn more