The date of March 11 was recorded as a milestone for digital art. An artist named Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold his fully digital work for $ 69.3 million, reaching the third-highest amount an artist has ever reached while alive.
NFT, i.e. non-fungible token, this work has once again taken the most ‘crazy’ trend of recent years to the front of the world agenda.
One of the most intriguing things about NFT is how digital works that can be easily downloaded from the internet can find buyers for millions of dollars.
Here NFTs come into play, so the works are called ‘crypto art’.
NFT can perhaps best be described as a digital certificate of the reality of something.
The works of art sold here are not works with a physical presence, such as a painting or sculpture. So NFTs, ‘digital certificates’, represent rarity and ownership.
NFTs, like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, use blockchain technology, and purchases are recorded through this technology.
Thanks to this system, the artist can reach directly to buyers by decommissioning auction companies and receiving commissions for reselling the digital work sold.
At this point, we can give the following example; a painting by British artist David Hockney, the artist who makes the most money among artists for his work, was sold again in 2018 for $ 90.3 million. Hockney, however, did not receive any share of the sale. Because in 1972, the same painting was sold for 18 thousand dollars.
Thanks to NFT, digital artists can also get a share in varying percentages of ongoing sales. These digital assets include GIFs, songs, and videos.
Nor is the number of those who describe the craze that NFT certified sales have reached as an investment bubble.
A demonstration of democratization in the Digital Art Marketplace
It is also expressed that these digital certificates lead to a major problem due to their registration on Blockchain technology.
“The work we, as artists, create always sounded like a tree without fruit, but this change is really exciting,” says Uçman Balaban, a 3D graphic artist living in the UK.
He answers the question in the title by associating it with the term ‘bragging rights’ :
“I can understand why artists are involved in this madness, but I still can’t understand what attracts collectors here. I think it’s about writing your name in art history, not just downloading it from the internet. In a strange time period when the desire to own outstripped the physical object, a digital artifact was sold for $ 70 million.”
According to Beeple, which broke the NFT sales record, this transformation was an indicator of democratization in the art marketplace.
In an interview with CNN, the 3D artist said, “it’s a bit of a surreal situation, I didn’t think I could sell digital visuals in my own lifetime. Now I have direct access to those who are watching me. I don’t need an intermediary. I think this is the beginning of a new era in art history,”
But there is also the idea that the internet is also a very anonymous zone, creating confusion over auctions. The number of people who have the view that prices can be raised by anonymous people is also quite high.
David Gerard, the author of Attack of the 50-foot Blockchain, argues that people who actually sell NFT are ‘crypto fraudsters’ :
“The crypto world has always been about creating a new kind of worthless magic bean to sell for actual money “
The rapid rise of crypto art also leads to predictions of the possibility of “crashing”.