Earlier this year, Netflix debuted Inventing Anna, a miniseries that offered a fictionalized account of Anna Delvey’s attempts to scam the rich and famous, some of whom were in the art world. Now, there is “Reinventing Anna,” a series of NFTs minted by none other than Delvey herself, who is currently behind bars.
The NFTs are images of prints that Delvey, an artist in her own right, has created. The three prints minted so far offer stylized versions of episodes from Delvey’s own life. Each is available for just 0.08 ETH, or around $90.
In one print, Delvey pictures the time she spent in ICE custody. (Her deportation to Germany is reportedly still pending.) Shown facing the viewer in a field of ICE detainees turned away, Delvey stands over a text in cursive that reads “White privilege application: denied.”
The NFTs come with what the project termed “access to Anna” by way of “exclusive live streams and other online and metaverse events.” It also promised personal calls with Delvey, sketches by her, and more to “a select group of top holders.”
It’s not clear which platform the NFTs exist on, based on the “Reinventing Anna” website, but there is a link to a Delvey-run page where users can mint their own NFTs.
The website for “Reinventing Anna” frames Delvey’s latest project as an attempt to regain power over her life story.
“I see this first drop as an opportunity to directly connect with my audience and to take charge of the narrative that’s been largely outside of my control, until now,” she is quoted as saying on the site.
“I’m very excited to join the NFT community and contribute to the change in the way artists/creators interact with their fan base,” she continues. “It feels great to be a part of something new and innovative – a large part of my own story is about breaking the rules and questioning status quo. In this new chapter of my journey I’m hoping to use my voice for a positive (and legal) cause.”
Some, including Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, have dismissively termed NFTs “expensive digital images,” but Delvey promised that her latest exploit was more legitimate than that.
“It’s not a picture that I’m trying to sell,” she told WWD in an interview on Wednesday. “Pretty much all it does is provide personal access to me. It’s a way for me to connect with my fans.”
Anna Delvey, née Anna Sorokin, was convicted in 2019 on larceny charges for scamming people in her circle out of $275,000.
From prison, she has been successful in bringing her art to the masses. She had a New York show in April that received coverage in the Cut, the New York Post, Variety, and other mainstream outlets. Not everyone was pleased with it. Esquire’s report on the opening came with the headline “I Went to Anna Delvey’s Stupid Art Show.”
The exhibition itself was not necessarily free of allegations of scamming either. One artist involved claimed in May that she was still owed $8,000.
Some have also claimed that NFTs are essentially scams and, at the very least, they are vulnerable to hacking and theft. “Reinventing Anna” has a tips section that includes this piece of advice: “NFT scams are EVERYWHERE these days. Stay weary on minting sites, Discord and Twitter of anyone asking you to send/receive/post information that might compromise your wallet.”