How NFTs are redefining the Art Industry

What if we told you that you can FEED and even BREED a DIGITAL CAT. You may say that this is what we used to do with Talking Tom. But you did not own the Talking Tom. It was just a video game that changed Tom Cat on every update.

CryptoKitties is a game where players can buy digital cats that cannot be replaced, replicated, stole, or destroyed according to the CryptoKitties.co. Similar games such as Run Dino Run have 10,000 unique NFTs in the Ethereum Blockchain and each NFT Dinos come with accessories, skills and exciting outfits. Recently, a 12-year-old Benjamin Ahmed earned £290,000 by selling a collage of pixelated whales called Weird Whales of the child.

However, to some, the idea of owning an artwork that cannot be displayed on a wall seems absurd. Joseph Kosuth, a New York-based art curator counters this contention philosophically by stating that the purpose of art cannot be confined to aestheticism. It is the edification of an idea that is abstract. It is ideas like these that fanned the new art movement.

The New Movement in Art

According to the Art Story, Digital Art is the latest artistic movement defining the amalgamation of art, science, and technology. Still considered at its inception, the movement has been sparked by development in Crypto Art. But What is Digital Art?

Rare Digital Art or popularly known as Crypto Art is a digital art registered on the blockchain through cryptography as tokens. Like traditional art, these are limited and exclusive. Tokens constitute the art and date stamps revealing the provenance and ownership. Tokenisation of art allows it to be owned by a person securely and exchanged with something of value.

Unlike customary art movements, which are ignited by the difference in idea and perception of art, this movement primarily deviated from conventional art forms in terms of medium. In this, the canvas is replaced by screen and colours by pixels.

An image is either created digitally with a machine or a pixelated traditional piece of art is captured in pixels through a camera or scanner.

Sergio Scalet is the author of Crypto art: A decentralized view, a journal on crypto art. He sees the crypto art movement speaking the contemporary language of technology. Unbridled, these languages of digital representation of art are facilitating a major paradigm shift and inspiring a new generation of art collectors.

Why it is revolutionising the current art industry?

Seyi Awontunde owner of Opulence, a marketplace dealing with NFT arts, says that selling and making money from art has become easier by Smart Contract and Royalties they offer whenever a sale is made. Royalties are automatically updated into the artist’s wallet and he need not hassle on payment platforms and logistics.

Art galleries charge over 30-50% commission on the sale of art from artists. Artist doesn’t get anything on resale. Artists are given 10% on every resale, thus breaking existing exploitative systems. Artists control every aspect such as listing, sale, promotions, and resale and they are only charged a nominal fee of selling an NFT.

Jason Bailey mentioned in his introduction to the first Italian exhibition of Crypto Art that crypto artists are independent of galleries, auction houses, and other agents to sell their artwork. They can do this on their own and earn what is rightfully theirs.

The Art Newspaper in their publication titled, NFTs and the 'Art' world: panic and possibility assert emphatically that if art is wealth then, galleries and auction houses are just marketing vehicles.

The curious case of Salvator Mundi

This case affirms the claims of The Art Newspaper. Ben Lewis, renowned art historian and author of The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World’s Most Expensive Painting, finds how auction houses and agents make money by tracing the journey of Salvator Mundi, a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. According to him: -

  • Hendry family of Baton Rouge, Louisiana sold the painting for $1,175 in 2005 and were left with $700 after the agent’s fee.
  • Simon and Parrish, art agents purchased it from an auction for $10,000.
  • Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier purchased it in 2013 for $75 million from them.
  • He sold it to Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million.
  • Christie acquired the painting from him for $400 million.

Lewis finds it unfair and has pledged to share half of the $450 million that he hopes to get by auctioning an NFT of Salvator Mundi with a little tweak.

How an artist can create a token easily?

The artist can either contact an auction house that deals in NFTs such as Christie’s or a Digital Art Gallery or NFT marketplace, such as OpenSea, SuperRare, Rarible, Foundation, KnownOrigin, etc.

The artist goes through the following steps:-

  • The artists submit the digital art to the digital gallery.
  • An NFT containing the details of origin is generated by a smart contract.
  • It is deposited in the artist’s wallet.
  • The details etched in the token are unique and verify the authenticity and exclusive ownership.
  • The token so created is distributed along peer IFPS or InterPlanetary File System Network on Blockchain.

The token contains a digital signature of the artist by asymmetrical encryption. the IFPS network gives the artwork a name. It means that the image will have a unique identity and can be traced to its original creator and current owner, despite being reproduced in any other media or recirculated.

What can be done with traditional art through NFTs?

Many people long for having a Monet, Dali, or Picasso, or Warhol. These paintings are extremely rare and insanely expensive. Picasso’s most expensive paintings were sold for $175 million. What if we tell you that you can also own a Picasso and the person in possession of one can earn money from a painting hanging on his wall. This is possible in three ways.

The owner can: -

  • Release 100 HD prints of the painting as it is and tokenise each print.
  • Sell NFTs containing 500 small sizes HD print of Picasso’s painting.
  • Create a digital version of the painting with high-end technology and sell the ownership rights of that digital print through NFT.

Buyer can fulfil his dream of possessing a real Picasso and NFT creator can earn money on initial sale and resale of these NFTs.

Artists can keep track of their creations and earn royalties on them lifelong. For instance, the creator of EulerBeats can earn 8% on the sale of the original print. Taco Bell is earning profits on their NFTs representing reinstatement of potatoes on their A La Carte. Kings of Leon will release their music on NFTs along with front row seats of their concerts through NFT as reported by Non-fungible.com.

Penta reported Georg Bak, a Zurich based art collector and curator comparing the utility of NFTs with Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. The Fountain was a sculpture of an altered urinal that sparked debates in the art world. Similarly, NFTs are challenging the well-established norms of convention art.

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