The world of art has remained largely unchanged for millennia. The tradition has always centered on artists selling their works to museums, galleries or individual collectors. In return, the artist received a market value for his works, which were often kept in private vaults and rarely presented to the public.
With the advent of NFTs, many artists can now offer their work for sale as a digital collector’s item. These blockchain-enabled digital assets not only allow the artist to retain ownership of a work of art they have produced, but also to receive royalties from sales in secondary markets.
Undoubtedly, NFTs are changing the contemporary art scene as artists no longer rely on galleries and museums as the only medium through which to sell their work. This shift in perspective has given artists more freedom and choice while bringing a new audience and stream of traditional artists to NFTs.
Here’s a look at the most famous contemporary artists who have gotten into NFTs lately.
Hirst recently launched The Currency project, which consists of 10,000 NFTs that correspond to physical prints of his five-year-old works of art, which are now kept in vaults. The NFTs are priced at $ 2,000 each and will be available for purchase by the end of the month.
NFTs are changing the world and the art world is increasingly turning to crypto, but for Damien Hirst, it’s not just about a get-rich-quick scheme portrayed in the media. The English artist and entrepreneur was once one of the youngest contemporary artists to dominate the British art scene in the 1990s and is reportedly the region’s richest living artist.
The Currency project aims to blur the lines between fungibility and non-fungibility (especially money and art) as collectors of Hirst’s NFTs have the choice of receiving either the physical painting or the NFT version of the painting. The NFT will be a high resolution photo of the physical painting.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Hirst said that he used to give away a lot of art and was frustrated when people sold the art.
“I suppose this whole project is like a test. It’s like walking down the stairs in your house when you have a painting and it doesn’t take long for the spot to turn into a dollar sign. “
Related: British artist Damien Hirst uses NFTs to blur the lines between art and money
Other highlights of Hirst’s work include the sale of the “Always Beautiful Inside My Head Forever” project in 2008, which was sold in direct auction for over $ 220 million, and the “For the Love of God” project, which features a diamond included an encrusted skull that sold for $ 100 million.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Hirst said he was upset with applications like iTunes that are taking ownership of musicians and applauded NFTs for their contribution to helping artists keep ownership of their creations.
Related: British art icon Damien Hirst accepts BTC and ETH payments for the print run
With a strong background in contemporary art as well as graphic design, Colin Philip Colbert was a recognized rising star in the pop art world before entering the NFT space. The British contemporary artist has even received praise from legendary designer André Leon Talley. Colbert began as a student at the University of St Andrews in Scotland before moving to the then-thriving London art scene in the East End, where he conceived the project that would become Lobsteropolis.
Based on Colbert’s first project at Lobster University, Lobsteropolis is a digital city based on the blockchain-based virtual world of Decentraland and showing composite elements of Colbert’s works from several international art exhibitions, shows and museums.
The ambitious project offers a rare glimpse into an emerging industry that interfaces between blockchain technology and the art world. It also has an open virtual environment that allows people to interact with each other and with the art.
Colbert’s work has garnered praise from famous figures in the art world, including Simon de Pury, a world-renowned art auctioneer and curator, and Charles Saatchi, a contemporary art collector and businessman.
Colbert said that digital space allows him to explore the narrative of his art in new ways.
One of the most standout features of Lobsteropolis is a hybrid work of art and musical performance called Lob-Ster De-Vo, which is a rock band-themed multimedia experience. The city is not only an art exhibition, but also an interactive virtual world. Lobsteropolis pushes the boundaries of both virtual and augmented reality in a gaming experience that allows users to interact with their peers and create multiple levels of fantasy.
Related: Brings contemporary pop art into an NFT metaverse
“Bu Tu Garden” is Huang Heshan’s latest NFT-based real estate art showcasing at the Taobao Maker Festival. The young Chinese artist, who initially assumed that everything to do with blockchain was “very complicated and tedious to use”, admits to his surprise that working with non-fungible tokens is much easier.
Huang will showcase his Bu Tu Garden virtual project at the Taobao Maker Festival, an annual event celebrating Chinese arts and entrepreneurship. Taobao, an Alibaba-owned platform, will present NFTs for the first time since the festival began in 2016.
Huang’s first NFT art project is based on the NEAR blockchain protocol and consists of a virtual real estate landscape that includes more than 1,000 virtual structures, 300 high-end family villas and another 1,000 parasols.
Huang’s Bu Tu Garden has a background in fine arts and picks up the local flavor of Chinese streets in a wild design with colorful trees, inspired by the story of a fictional real estate tycoon who is building upscale apartments for the less fortunate.
Another artist making a debut on the NFT landscape is Grimes. Popularly known for her exploration of synth pop music and experimental art, Grimes recently sold her digital artwork for a staggering $ 6 million in auction on Nifty Gateway. The artwork includes a number of unique visual and acoustic works of art. One particular track called “Death of the Old” sold for over $ 350,000. Much of the more than $ 6 million in sales came from individual works of art, which totaled thousands of copies and cost $ 7,500 each.
Related: Musician Grimes’ first NFT auction brings in $ 5.8 million in 20 minutes
The Canadian singer and visual artist managed to become a critically acclaimed pop star long before he stepped onto the NFT room. Her electronic pop music as well as her relationship with Elon Musk (tech CEO and entrepreneur) have earned her a large fan base of over 1.9 million people on Instagram. Through her NFT artwork, she shows her versatile talent in writing, producing and editing her music.
Steve Aoki and Antonio Tudisco
Antoni Tudisco is Creative Director and 3D Visual Artist, born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Among other things, he has a background in media management and web design and development.
The fashion enthusiast and designer has worked with top brands like Adidas, Nike, Versace and Puma and has attracted the attention of artists like Will Smith. He also has his TUDISCO STUDIO brand, which he recently featured on a catwalk show in New York City.
Now Tudisco is making a debut in the NFT space by working with American record producer and DJ Steve Aoki to create “Dream Catcher”.
To date, the artwork has earned more than $ 4.29 million and includes a collection of NFTs that can be redeemed in the form of a physical screen that displays the artwork. In addition to Tudisco, Aoki also worked with motivational speaker Tom Bileu to bring the NFT set “Neon Future” to market.
The interface between technology and art
As technology increasingly supplements modern art, some still believe that there will always be a place for traditional artwork in galleries and auction houses. However, one of the best things about NFTs is that they provide opportunities for new artists to enter a market for their art, especially artists who are unable to enroll in prestigious visual arts graduate programs. With NFTs, artists can sell their work directly to collectors without intermediaries. You no longer have to worry about geographic, financial and educational barriers. Is that the future of contemporary art?