Covid-19 and Blockchain has brought forward and created the perfect storm for an explosion of the digital art space.
NFT (non fungible token) platforms and marketplaces have enabled the ability to buy, sell and enjoy digital art from your home and the convergence of digital and physical art will soon emerge in new and exciting ways. Artists, galleries and marketplaces are all just starting to uncover the potential.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Lets take a step back and look at what has created this revolution. NFTs and the NFT marketplaces.
So what are NFTs ?
NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” assets in the digital world that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, but they have no tangible form of their own.
With NFTs, artworks can be “tokenised” to create a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold.
The digital tokens can be thought of as certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets.
This technology enables the artworks to be traded and ownership can be quickly transfered and verfied using this technology.
So how do you get access to the digital artworks?
Digital art can be purchased through NFT marketplaces. There are a number of high profile marketplaces. Two of the most popular are OpenSea and Nifty Gateway. In February and March of 2021, these 2 marketplaces alone had combined sales in excess of $200M per month.
On the platforms you can browse, purchase and re-sell artworks.
Given this utilises blockchain technology it is possible to see all of the transactions for particular artworks. This provenance provides a record of ownership and can be used as a guide to authenticity, unlike the traditional art world.
So whats happening outside of the online platforms?
ABV Gallery, in Atlanta, GA and Nifty Gateway recently partnered to provide the first physical NFT group exhibition, “Chain Reaction.” The exhibition featured 20 artists from around the globe releasing new work on 20 physical screens in the gallery. The work could be viewed and purchased whilst inside the gallery space or online via the Nifty Gateway platform.
In addition to the works in the gallery, they also featured in train stations, and other public venues across Boston and Atlanta.
Locally in Australia, White Rabbit Gallery have been exhibiting digital art.
The Future Art: Follow the White Rabbit exhibition used HD projections, digital display frames, augmented and virtual reality, and live DJs to create an immersive, multi-sensory experience. Guests could interact with the artworks both in real life and via their devices. The exhibition has now closed but the platform for this type of new art experience is one to keep an eye on in the future.
An example of the potential and value of digital art, is illustrated by the most recent record sale.
In the first NFT sale by a major auction house, Christie’s sold the piece titled, Everydays — The First 5000 Days, by American artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold for $US69.4 million. Beeple is a graphic designer from Charleston, SC, USA who does a variety of digital artwork including short films.
The artwork sold is a collage of 5,000 individual images, which were made one-per-day over more than 13 years.
Here we have shown a small section so you can get a feel for the artwork.
The technology behind NFT’s is here to stay and it will be very interesting to see how the the space evolves, not olny in the pure digital sense, but also how traditional galleries and physical spaces leverage and capitalise on this latest revolution.
Our team is immersing themselves in the space and is already discussing potential collaborations and applications with clients. We are very excited about the future of this medium.