Lana Denina: A Voice Empowering the Black Culture

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Lana Denina, an African artist, channels her creativity into celebrating Black culture and exploring women's issues through her thematic NFT collections.
Born in Benin, a small country in West Africa, Lana is the daughter of a French father and a Beninese mother. During her childhood, her family moved first to France and then to Canada, where she continues to live today. Lana showed an early interest in the arts, enjoying drawing fictional characters from a young age and later embracing digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop.

While attending college, Lana balanced her studies with her passion for art and a marketing job. She created and sold paintings, themed blankets, and mats through her Instagram platform. Her life took a significant turn when she discovered NFTs, successfully selling several of her artworks, which provided her with the financial freedom to dedicate herself entirely to her art.
When I was young, I was telling myself that I wanted to be an artist. And I wasn’t seeing like a lot of Black artists in museums and art galleries,
Lana reflects on her early experiences.
Eventually, Lana's works were featured in various prestigious exhibitions around the globe, including Kunst Zuerich in Switzerland, the Venice Biennale in Italy, and the Elsewhere Gallery in the USA. Thanks to NFTs and the support from the decentralized community, Denina has emerged as a pioneering figure within her thematic focus.

Lana’s artwork primarily features black women and promotes Black cultural heritage, including the traditions of African, Indian, and Oceanic tribes. Her pieces are generally rendered in pastel shades with surrealistic elements and occasional bursts of vibrant colors. Some of Lana’s pieces might be perceived as provocative, but this is her way of drawing attention to the issues of hypersexualization and objectification of women, as well as raising awareness about mental health.
A notable fact is Lana’s contribution to the famous Black Lives Matter fresco in Montreal, created shortly after the tragic death of George Floyd in 2020. She painted the letter 'A' in the inscription "la vie des compte," which translates to "Black Lives Matter" in French.
Her debut official NFT, titled "Wet Dream," featured an animated depiction of a black man through a gentle psychedelic effect. It sold for 0.25 ETH, approximately $500 at that time. Following this, several individual NFTs were released, capturing the interest of the community. However, her definitive artistic statement remains the NFT collection "The Mona Lana."

This series consists of 500 unique NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, featuring female portraits created from randomly assembled elements Lana has drawn. This method, similar to that employed by well-known NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club and Lil Pudgys, avoids the need to create each new image from scratch. Lana donates a portion of her earnings from The Mona Lana sales to Cyber Baat DAO, an organization that supports African artists.
The Mona Lana Collection. Source: OpenSea Official Website.

The Mona Lana Collection. Source: OpenSea Official Website.

Each NFT in The Mona Lana is distinguished by unique features such as hairstyles, eye color, and attire, making some more rare than others. Currently, the minimum price for a Mona Lana NFT is 0.07 ETH ($220), with the artist receiving a 10% royalty on sales.

Despite her considerable success in the Web3 arena, Lana remains aware of the difficulties other artists encounter in finding their audience and making a mark in the market. She hopes her example and artistic endeavors will encourage others to persist, progress, and experiment with new technologies.