“You should just NFT yourself.”
That was the advice Anna Sorokin—better known as the socialite grifter Anna Delvey—received from one Twitter user during her brief stint of freedom in early 2021, when she was released from prison early for good behavior.
“It came about because somebody bought [the domain name] annadelvey.com and they were offering it back to me for $50,000,” Sorokin told Artnet News from jail in Upstate New York’s Orange County. “I used to own annadelvey.com, but then the domain expired because I went to jail.”
She decided to make an effort to regain control of all Anna Delvey-related domains, and then tweeted: “I own myself across the board.”
That’s when the NFT suggestion came in.
Delvey decided to make a play on the title of the hit Shonda Rhimes-produced Netflix show Inventing Anna for a new NFT project named Reinventing Anna.
For a starting price of .8 ethereum (or about $1,080 based on today’s exchange rate), buyers can acquire one of the 2,000 NFTs. Twenty lucky winners will receive gold editions, which come with an “Anna Access Pass” granting holders a one-on-one phone call with Sorokin and the possibility of an in-person visit. (As Sorokin is in custody indefinitely, it is unclear where visits or when the in-person would take place.)
“What we’re trying to achieve is basically the first step of me trying to tell my narrative. The drop is the first part of a longer ongoing” series, Sorokin said.
Sorokin was convicted in 2019 of grand larceny and theft of services, which occurred while she was posing as a wealthy German heiress in the process of establishing an arts foundation.
After her 2021 release, Sorokin was almost immediately taken back into custody on a visa violation and is now in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center awaiting a decision on her appeal. The Russian-born German citizen is fighting ICE’s efforts to deport her to Germany.
By all indications, interest in Sorokin’s life is at an all-time high. Since the Netflix show, she said she has received heaps of letters in jail, and, this past spring, her drawings and prints were the focus of a solo show at the Founders Art Club. The $250 editioned prints poked fun at her various credit card mishaps, including one from a Saturday Night Live skit that depicts her shouting: “Run it again!”
The Founders Art Club did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Sorokin said sales have already hit about $150,000.
Under New York State law, criminals are prohibited from profiting off their crimes through the sale of books and TV shows. But Sorokin was allowed to keep the $320,0000 in fees she received as a contributor to the Netflix series in order to pay her six-figure restitution. Apparently, her accounts are still unfrozen; she said she will be able to keep the profits from the sales of her art and NFTs.
When I noted to Sorokin that she sounded remarkably upbeat for someone who is incarcerated, she replied: “Yeah, but don’t be mistaken about happy because it’s tough to be in jail. I’m trying to keep busy. I guess keeping busy is my way of coping because I just would not know what else to do. Having so much going on takes my mind off the fact that I’m in jail.”
She’s also been passing the time by studying up on cryptocurrency. “I have access to Wall Street Journal, Forbes, etc., I read all kinds of things. I have so much time. I learned a lot about blockchain and cryptocurrency,” which, she said, “have great potential to change the old structures.”
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