NFTs and Modern Artists

In recent years, with the emergence of NFT art and the establishment of the Metaverse, many fine artists have begun ventures into this realm of art. Artists from the likes of Damien Hirst have either turned existing fine art works into non-fungible tokens or have started creating them digitally from scratch.

Several classical works have also found themselves in the Metaverse. Fine art NFTs are non-fungible tokens that represents ownership of a digital work of art. These types tend to be original, physical works of art that are then transformed into a digital version.

Digital art has also seen a vast change to how it was originally perceived. In the past, these styles were seen as being lesser than the traditional mediums, such as paint or sculpture, in part because it was difficult to tell the difference between authentic digital art and copies, with other perceptions being that it’s not ‘real art’. However, due to this new age of technology, it’s now recognised by the establishment as a legitimate form of art, with a lot of that thanks to NFTs.

NFT’s have massively changed the way the market functions, which is most likely why a lot of traditional artists have gotten involved. The conventional fine art market has traditionally depended heavily on paper trails to establish the provenance of artworks, but in certain high-profile incidents during the market’s history, forgeries have managed to evade detection and make their way onto the market. Giving out a certificate of authenticity when a collector buys a piece of contemporary art is another typical practise. NFTs provide the same functions as a certificate of authenticity, but they rely on the blockchain technology’s cryptographic protocols rather than paper records. This level of reliability means that the uncertainty when purchasing art gets removed.

In terms of investment, this new age of digital based work has invited in a new generation of collectors and investors. Those who lean more towards technology are more inclined to go for those digital mediums.

When questioning which is the more valuable medium: digital or traditional, artist Damien Hirst decided to test this with his own works. Hirst sold equivalent NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, along with thousands of one-of-a-kind dot paintings last summer for under $2,000 apiece. By the summer of 2022, the owner would have to decide whether to keep the NFT or exchange it for the actual canvas copy. The version that was not chosen would be incinerated.

Having sold 10,000 pieces, the results are now available. 4,851 customers opted for NFTs, while 5,149 buyers kept their actual artwork. The final stage of Hirst’s “The Currency” project has been reached: Buyers who choose matched NFTs over real-life objects will burn them one at a time.

Digital art and NFT’s seem to be the future of the art market, although it won’t necessarily replace traditional works, rather coincide with each other. It will be interesting to see how this new wave evolves, as well as which type of art will overtake the other in investment success.