Akeroyd Collection


Walid Raad, Festival of Gratitude, Mao Zedong, 2022

Festival of Gratitude is a continuous loop, 3D animation NFT that depicts a six-tiered, sparkler-embellished birthday cake, topped with a black and white portrait of Mao Zedong. Festival of Gratitude is a birthday cake by Walid Raad, an extravagant offering to global leaders, past and present. Ronald Ragen, Robert Mugabe, Yasser Arafat, and Vladimir Putin all have cakes made in their name, crafted for them as ‘some of the world's most toxic and/or bigger-than-life leaders’. Each cake is divided into a number of ‘slices’, or editions, determined by the would-be age of the ruler in 2022. Half the slices are laced with poisons and the other half are infused with elixirs, giving each edition its name. The cakes and ‘slices’ were originally auctioned in batches via the commissioning platform Artwrld, with large portions of the proceeds going to philanthropic organizations related to the effects of the leader’s reign.

- text by Jesse Slater

MediumNFT (3D animation, 1080 × 1080 px) continuous loop
Duration16 seconds