Artwork featuring Georgia's Soviet-era Tskaltubo resort sanatorium becomes actor Jim Carrey's first NFT acquisition

  • Artists working on the photograph introduced digital vegetation to the interior of the abandoned sanatorium space, altered lighting and other elements, and added sound to produce the work. Screenshot via Jim Carrey on Twitter, 2 Jun 2022 - 16:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

A digital artwork piece that has been described as a "surreal collision between the past and future" with its image of a dilapidated Soviet-era sanatorium in western Georgia's once-famed Tskaltubo resort has become the first NFT piece obtained by popular actor Jim Carrey.

The Grammy-winning and Academy Award-nominated comedian and actor revealed on Twitter on Wednesday he had obtained Devotion, a piece in artist Ryan Koopmans' series The Wild Within, as his first non-fungible token piece.

In his tweet, Carrey thanked the artist for "gently capturing nature's exquisite and relentless reinvention" with the image.

Koopmans, a Canadian-Dutch creative, worked with Alice Wexell to introduce digital vegetation into a photograph of an interior of the abandoned sanatorium space, while also altering lighting and structure of the building. Erik Thome produced sound for the visual space, completing the multimedia piece reflecting the passage of time.

It is the final work of the The Wild Within series that sought to breathe new life into abandoned buildings from the Soviet era, with its description paying homage to the legacy of Tskaltubo as one of the major health resorts of the USSR that hosted state dignitaries and ordinary citizens alike between the 1940s and 1980s.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the tumultuous decade that followed it, the resort facilities were partially dismantled and left without maintenance, leaving their once-eye-catching classical architecture in dismal shape.

While the sanatorium buildings maintain interest among international visitors and online media on the "New East" and travel, their state has prevented the location from reassuming its former role, however new projects have recently been drawn up to revitalise the former resort.

The latter included a presentation on Tuesday of latest updates around a project for renovating the location and boosting tourism in the area, involving architects and designers and hosted as part of the annual celebration of Italian design and architecture in Tbilisi.