The Future of Art Collecting (Hint: It includes NFTs)

I wanted to share with you my insights on the new NFT frenzy in the art world. Before we dive into this topic and in the spirit of merging Technology with Art, make sure to subscribe to my page for a chance to win an original "Inesa's artWorld" NFT. If you are a subscriber already, you will automatically be entered to the drawing. The winner will be announced on November 20th!

Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, became one of the most expensive living artists in the world when he sold Everydays: The First 5,000 Days (2021) at Christie’s for $69 million earlier this year. This sale was not only spectacular because of the price tag on it, but also because it is a continuation of the NFT frenzy in the art world!

Beetle returned with another piece recently, which is a sculpture called Human One (2021) and is comprised of both digital and physical pieces and, of course, it comes with a respective NFT as well.

What is very interesting is that the NFT contract is specifically coded in a way that when the art collector buys it, Winkelmann will have remote access to the digital art piece so that he can alter it as he pleases in perpetuity - he can even destroy it if he wishes!

This story shows that a unique way of collecting art is on the rise, where the artwork is continuously updated with time. Traditional art pieces are unadulterated by the addition of extra components. Digital pieces, however, can be altered indefinitely.

Truth be told, most of the art we view today is in a digital form one way or another. I, for instance, display my artworks primarily through social media and my personal website. Through such digital platforms, artists can reach wider audiences that during the pre-internet era we couldn’t potentially reach.

Moreover, digital art is appealing to us artists, since we love to push boundaries and experiment with new trends. The digital world offers a plethora of opportunities to push our creative boundaries.

However, digital art can be easily copied, which is a major drawback for this form of art. The only way to avoid this is to put your work on a blockchain or distributed ledger technology, which allows for a digital piece to be scarce in production. A blockchain digital art piece, mostly known as an NFT (non-fungible token), cannot be copied and replicated like any simple digital art piece.

Specifically, Blockchain are a network of computers that ensure that duplicate/fraudulent records are not created for a digital piece. By creating an NFT you can:

  • Add your unique code into your digital artwork and choose how many copies of your piece you allow to be purchased by collectors.

  • You truly own your digital piece and only you have the power to alter it or even destroy it.

  • The artwork can be truly authentic even in a digital form. A blockchain records the time and date that the asset was created and when it has been traded.

  • Payment is already integrated into blockchain, so there is no need to set up an e-commerce store to sell your digital art. Ethereum has a cryptocurrency called Ether (ETH), which is used to power the platform. An artist can create a digital piece of art on the Ethereum blockchain and sell it for ETH, which is Ethereum’s native currency.

  • In the traditional art world, after a piece of original art is sold, the artist does not receive payments for any subsequent sales of the artwork. On blockchain, the artist can integrate a code directly into their digital piece so that they can receive a portion of the profits form secondary sales.

It seems that nowadays digital art allows for a widespread distribution of art and can holistically transform how we experience looking at and buying artistic pieces.

Could digital art be the future possibly? Maybe so, but we are not there at this moment since many people still prefer buying physical pieces. Maybe a combination of both physical and digital artworks will be the norm in the near future, such as “smart” canvas frames, where the picture can be digitally altered every so often. Maybe the painting you display on your wall will show different images daily one day - the imagination is the limit when it comes to this form of art!

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