How blockchain technology reached Christie’s and changed the art world along the way


Earlier this month, 18 interested buyers entered a bidding war over a large engraved and painted gray disc with 322,048 code digits. It’s just over 4 feet wide, features 24-karat gold leaf, and comes with something the legendary auction house Christie’s had never sold before: a piece of digital code that tracks the location of the work of art. art.

The artwork, called “Block 21” and created by a London artist, Ben Gentilli, is part of a series of 40 pieces entitled “Portraits of a Mind”, designed to create a story of bitcoin and its mysterious founder . The piece cost just over $ 130,000, causing a stir in both the art world and the blockchain world.

“Block 21” is now the most prominent example of how blockchain technology has crept into the art world and has shown some signs of change.

“I think that not since the Renaissance we have seen such a shift of power into the hands of artists, and I say that because Gutenberg’s typography allowed artists to print editions and this allowed them revenue streams that they could control themselves ateliers and studios”, Gentilli said.

The piece of code is what is known as a non-fungible token (NFT), which uses a blockchain (in this case the Ethereum blockchain) to create a unique identifier that can be tracked. It is one of the many applications of blockchain technology, which uses shared computing power to create secure and nearly impervious digital ledgers.

Gentilli’s NFT serves as an extension of his artwork, but many in the crypto art space rely on these tokens as a means of devaluing counterfeits and establishing passive income. Each token is generated by a smart contract, unique, immutable and forever linked to a specific work of art. Artists can create as many tokens as they want per artwork – think of them as editions – which means that the fewer tokens, the scarcer the work, increasing its value. Once a digital artwork has been tokenized, it lives on the blockchain, where it can be bought, traded and its provenance established.

This is the key difference between digital art only and crypto art: the latter is only the former, but on the blockchain.

When it comes to faking, taking a screenshot is a lot easier than recreating a one-of-a-kind physical artwork. Tokenizing digital art makes the identification of the original irrefutable: it gives artists and collectors power over value and ownership with a legitimate and immutable public registration. NFTs effectively solve copyright infringement problems, create a trusted ecosystem for digital art collection, and strengthen artists’ retail rights. With NFTs and the blockchain, artists’ retail rights are programmed into code.

Some artists have already experimented with purely digital art which includes proprietary tokens. A game developed on the Ethereum blockchain, CryptoKitties, has provided people with a way to buy, sell and create cat designs.

The use of blockchain technology has also prompted the art world to reconsider how artists are compensated for their work, especially if they appreciate it.

In the traditional art world, an artist can often sell a piece for a couple of hundred dollars that is worth millions a few decades later. The original artist sees no advantage in this price increase.

“When I was still a young man, it occurred to me that if I had remained an artist for many years, at one point my biggest competition would have been myself as a younger man,” wrote the contemporary southern painter- West United States Lawrence Lee. “I was right.”

In the world of crypto art, digital markets offer royalties to artists for secondary sales. When a work of art is resold, the creators receive a commission of that revenue.

Matt Kane sold oil paintings in the early 2000s before becoming a web developer. He learned to code on his own and eventually created his own art software to create crypto art. To date, his symbolized work “Right Place & Right Time” is the second most expensive digital artwork sold, behind Gentilli’s. It sold for $ 101,593 in September.

Kane said many people in the crypto art space are trying to create a fairer model for the future, one that cares about the aging artist and allows him to participate in his own success.

“Zero” by Matt Kane.Matt Kane

“This is the spirit that arises from the crypto space. We are interested in the well-being of the many rather than the profit of a few, “Kane said.” I think it’s a kind of ethics that we all find very easy to believe in. “

Anna Louise Simpson, a Scotland-based artist, was making traditional collage art when a major crypto art platform contacted her to see if she was interested in tokenizing her pieces. He didn’t know much about blockchain at the time. At the end of June last year, he symbolized his first work of art.

“I managed to get so confused, put my name as the title of the piece, and then it was on the blockchain forever,” she said. He tried to buy it back a few months ago, but the owners aren’t selling.

In addition to forever minting his name on the blockchain and learning curve to convert his first Ethereum sale into cash at his bank, Simpson said he found helpful videos and blogs on how to transition to crypto art. In just over a year, she is now a full-time crypto artist.

“When you start out, you start selling for low amounts and you are grateful for every sale, but as you grow as an artist, those sales become secondary sales,” Simpson said. “It’s amazing to wake up and get an email saying you’ve just received a royalty payment. Multiple platforms have to offer it to artists.”

Koosha Azim, 17, a student in San Francisco, creates surrealist abstract pop art. He entered cryptocurrency in late 2017, so he had an understanding of the principles of blockchains entering the cryptocurrency space. He said that one of the most important aspects in the digital age is ownership.

“We see musicians and artists who do not get the fruit of their work and are unable to establish passive income, and I think now more than ever, as we move more and more digitally, the idea of ​​establishing royalties is really a transparent and organic process like in the world of digital art is essential, “Azim said.

“Melting Mirrors” by Koosha Azim.Koosha Azim

He said he’s seeing his old artwork resold among collectors and earns an income every time it happens. “Help the artist,” he said. “There are no intermediaries. It will go straight to the artist’s wallet.”

SuperRare is one of the main crypto art markets. According to Cointelegraph, it had a sales volume of over $ 1.6 million in August, quadrupling its sales since the beginning of the year. SuperRare takes a 15% commission on primary sales and offers artists a 10% commission on secondary sales.

Gentilli said the crypto art community does digital so well in many ways, but that physical component is missing.

“He needs to see himself physically in spaces like Christie’s to understand his place in the world,” he said, “and I think it allows for a lot more human connections.”

[ad_2]Source link