As the curator of one of the world’s largest online art galleries and the daughter of an artist, I love seeing the delight and inspiration that art can bring to someone who finds a work they love. I am also very aware of the challenges that many people face in accessing art and the struggle that many artists have had to make a living from their creativity.

When I saw artists start creating digital works and start selling their works as NFTs, I knew this had the potential to drastically change the art world. When news broke of Beeple’s $69 million NFT sales at renowned auction house Christie’s, I saw that the world took notice too. What exactly did you sell? Who owns the copyright? Could this be a new way of making a living for artists?

The world of crypto art has developed rapidly: the NFT market grew tenfold between 2018 and 2020, and continues to grow, offering not only new opportunities for artists and collectors alike, but new ways of thinking about the production and purchase of crypto art. art. For those who want to know more about the space, here is an introduction to next-generation NFTs today and the benefits they will create for the future.

State-of-the-art NFTs today

As exciting as this new technology is and the potential that comes with it, the current state of NFTs is overwhelming for newcomers. Artists and collectors alike often don’t know where to start, struggle to understand what is “good” or worth collecting, and often find the technology so intimidating that it creates a barrier to entry. In fact, one in three artists don’t know what an NFT is, and for those who do, the biggest barrier to creating one is understanding the technology, according to the findings of our recent “Making a Living as an Artist” report.

For those looking to buy artwork in the form of NFTs, there are a limited number of platforms focused on quality and curation, with some of the major ones like Super Rare, Foundation, and Art Blocks featuring art that outperforms most. the buyers. . At the other end of the spectrum, open marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible allow any artist to add their work, sometimes for free, to create the NFT. But this can lead to over-saturation, as artists churn out large volumes of lower-quality works in the hope of making a quick profit.

Those researching the NFT space may also wonder why prices are so high, especially for such a new technology. Scarcity has always driven up prices in the art world as collectors are willing to pay for the value of an original, and it’s no different with an NFT. Also, fewer big names in the crypto art space means higher demand and higher prices. The price of cryptocurrencies has increased considerably in recent years, so those who have owned cryptocurrencies for a while tend to be the ones who pay the most money for an NFT.

However, there are many artists who produce great works at more affordable prices, it’s just harder to find them. Ultimately, it comes down to a collector’s intentions: Are you looking for a work that you enjoy, that inspires or moves you? Looking for a cool name behind your NFT? Are you looking to collect to be part of a club or community? All of these options are available.

Beyond being a new asset class for collectors to consider, NFTs are also creating new ways for art lovers to interact with art digitally and virtually.

The future of NFT art

Although NFTs are a relatively new phenomenon to the art world, they have the potential to disrupt and reimagine the process of creating, buying, and enjoying art in ways we haven’t seen before, as well as providing new channels through which emerging artists can monetize their creativity.

Easier access to art

The digitization of art means that someone’s work can be distributed everywhere via the Internet, opening up the possibility for anyone with an Internet connection to scroll through an artist’s portfolio on their phone or put on a headset. VR to take a walk through a virtual gallery. . It also means that anyone, anywhere can buy a digital work of art, and the future of NFTs will likely lead to art collecting going mainstream.

Greater Diversity

NFTs and the digitization of art allow greater access for both artists and collectors to get involved, opening up the possibility of greater representation and contribution to the art world. If digital access to art removes many of the barriers to seeing, appreciating, buying, or making art, then this could be the path to having an art world that is more like the rest of the world, and not just representative of a select few. . .

Fractionation of the Creator

NFTs offer fans the ability to directly support their favorite artists and get something unique in return. We’ve seen this with musicians or other creators offering unique VIP opportunities or special access to work, bypassing traditional payment methods and allowing fans to directly support the artist. They may also share in the future success of the artist through fractionation, or have partial ownership of the creators and their work through direct investment.

More artistic freedom

The ability for artists to connect directly with their fans and get paid from them will create more freedom in how artists want to ruin their careers. Because blockchain technology and NFTs facilitate one-to-one payments, artists no longer need to be beholden to corporate sponsors or brands that can dictate their artistic vision. While there will still be a place for forward-thinking curators and institutions to present artwork compellingly and imaginatively to the public, artists will have more freedom to create what they want and know they will have a supportive audience.

new media

We can confidently say that the definition of art is no longer reserved for a canvas displayed on a wall or a sculpture displayed in a museum. As new technologies continue to appear, they will be able to support new and novel art forms that we have yet to imagine. Art can not only be seen digitally on a phone or a computer screen, but art will be seen in the metaverse, or take the form of a wearable device or an experience, something that people can participate in, and not just look.

NFT art today and tomorrow

As we’ve seen in the sheer number of NFT sales (both Crypto Punks and Bored Ape Yacht Club have each garnered nearly $2 billion in sales to date), the ways new digital artists are contributing to the space and the increase in collecting. communities, the world of crypto art challenges what it means to make and consume art. Above all, it is fostering a world where art is becoming more democratized for everyone.

Guest post by Monty Preston of Saatchi Art

As creative director behind The Other Avatars, Monty leads Saatchi Art’s entry into the NFT space. In addition to curating the roster of artists participating in The Other Avatars, he is guiding them through the creative process to help them create high-quality, one-of-a-kind artwork for this one-of-a-kind release. Monty graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Linguistics and Spanish Cultural Studies from the University of Toronto, Canada. Before joining Saatchi Art in 2018, she worked at industry-leading female-led startups including Beauty Pie in London, where she managed content and creative, and The RealReal in San Francisco, where she specialized in luxury property management with a focus on designer clothing and fine art. As an artist and photographer, Monty has collaborated with renowned talents in the fine art and fashion industries, giving him a unique insight into the creative process that he brings to her curatorial practice.

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