Wednesday, December 8

From the Louvre to wallets, NFTs change the concept of art galleries

Key facts:
  • NFT art sales represent 5.5% of the entire contemporary art scene.

  • NFTs and related platforms have provided a window to the world for new artists.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have changed the way art is collected and displayed. The largest auction houses that have seen works by masters like Rembrandt pass through their rooms, now see how collectible tokens become one of the most profitable markets in contemporary art.

According to data collected by Bloomberg this November 8, the NFTs currently occupy 5.5% of the world art trade. Sotheby’s, for example, one of the oldest auction houses on the planet founded in 1744, has sold, in 2021 alone, more than $ 65 million worth of NFT works. For its part, Christie’s, another renowned auction house, sold more than USD 100 million in the same period.

Works painted in oil, such as the collection of 11 Picasso paintings up for auction for USD 108 million last October, they have been sharing space with digital works of art.

From physical to digital, NFTs have achieved million-dollar sales. For example, the source code for what is known as World Wide Web (WWW) the first protocol for Internet web pages, made up of 9,555 lines of code, was sold as NFT for more than $ 5 million.

The source code auction contained an animation in which the entire WWW protocol is represented line by line. Source: Sotheby’s.

From selling unique pieces that went to large museums, auction houses have been the protagonist of how the NFT an important space is opening up within the interest of collectors, now creating digital art galleries.

An example of this was the event held by NFT Oasis, a fact reported by CriptoNoticias, in which, through an interactive virtual reality gallery, NFT from the field of jazz was put on display. On that occasion, the interested parties could bid for the tokens within the virtual room.

A new way to buy art

According to the Bloomberg portal, the auction houses functioned as a secondary market. The exhibition and search for potential buyers was on behalf of the art galleries. In contrast, with NFTs “the artists want to work directly with the auction houses.” “We’ve always been in the secondary market,” said Rebekah Bowling, contemporary art specialist at auction house Phillips.

This direct line between artists and buyers has generated new interest among art collectors. Noah Davis, Cristie’s head of digital art sales, told Bloomberg that “their prospective NFT buyers were happy to abandon the formalities normally involved in attracting art collectors.”

Collecting art now doesn’t seem like an elitist concept. Works of art by less thoughtful artists, such as the 12-year-old boy who sold USD 150 thousand in NFT art, open possibilities for both collectors and artists, towards a new world of digital art.