In an era when digital art is sold online and presented in real-world venues, how can NFTs benefit the art gallery industry? As we’ve seen in recent articles about NFTs, these digital art works could be a great asset to galleries, but how do they present NFTs? We visited two London galleries to find out. Both have their own unique approaches to presenting NFTs. Here’s what we learned.
NFTs are a way to assign scarcity and value to intangible online art
Many digital arts and media have been made available for free online. But NFTs have the potential to change this. Using blockchain technology and computer coding, artists and collectors can now claim ownership of digital artworks. The NFT concept was first prototyped by Anil Dash and artist Kevin McCoy. The technology has enormous potential to change the way artists and collectors see art.
Some NFTs can be quite valuable. In one recent case, a gamer purchased 64 lots in the Decentraland virtual land platform and combined them into an estate. He then sold it for $80,000, thanks to its location and access to the Internet. Another investor paid $222,000 for a portion of a digital Monaco racing track in the F1 Delta Time video game. The NFT he bought would give him the right to receive 5% of the profits from every race and entry fees.
They could be used in less-than-legal dealings
One potential problem with NFTs for art galleries is the potential for copyright claims. Even when the original work is not a copyrighted work, the NFT could be based on it. A classic example of this is when a digital work is created based on a printed work. This can be a risky situation if the artist has created a work for hire. The statutes governing this situation say that an employer has the copyright to a work.
Digital artworks may be subject to piracy. SuperRare warns that NFTs for art galleries can be used in less-than-legal dealings because the NFTs may include other editions of the same piece of work. If a buyer is concerned that the extent of the acquisition is not disclosed in the contract, he may file a fraud or misrepresentation claim.
They could protect artists’ markets
While the concept of an NFT for art gallery is relatively new, critics have compared it to the Dutch tulip craze of the 17th century. They also criticized the decentralized nature of the blockchain, which consumes enormous amounts of energy, which clashes with the art world’s ongoing efforts to go green. Still, some unexpected art galleries have already experimented with NFTs, including Sotheby’s.
NFTs are essentially cryptographic tokens representing real-world items. As a result, they are essentially collector’s items in digital form. In a nutshell, an NFT represents an exclusive item that can only be owned by one person. In theory, this means that the artist would automatically receive a percentage of every resale transaction involving his or her work. However, some artists worry that this could create a disadvantage for them.
They are a way to connect artists with followers on social media
Whether NFTs for art galleries are beneficial or not is an open question. While the industry itself is booming, some artists are not so sure. Some artists have blocked automated accounts and locked their accounts to only their current followers, which comes at a cost of visibility. Still, others are challenging their peers to join the NFT revolution. In fact, ArtStation recently announced that they would partner with NFTs, and that its NFTs program would include carbon credits to offset the costs of electricity. However, within hours, the company reversed their decision.
In addition to promoting new artwork, NFTs for art galleries connect artists with followers on social media. NFTs help to regain the authority of the artist, as people tend to want to connect with the person behind the creations. By sharing details about your tools and inspirations, you will be able to connect with your audience more personally and help them connect to your artwork.