By Olyvia Kwok Decani | Founder of Willscape Partners
Over the last few years, particularly in light of the COVID pandemic, we have seen the virtual and the physical worlds merge. Changing the way that we have lived our lives completely, the introduction of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and cryptocurrency have revolutionized the art market, with a rather large impact on how business is done.
How are NFTs Used in the Art World?
Firstly, lets discuss what NFTs actually are. NFTs, otherwise known as non-fungible tokens, are units of data that are stored on the Blockchain. They have a unique code, and can be used to represent digital media, allowing you can actually own a digital work of art.
Digital media can take many forms, such as video or sound files, GIFs, tweets, and of course – digital art. The main aspect to remember is that unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, NFT’s are non-fungible, which essentially means that each NFT is one-of-a-kind. They can be bought and sold; however, they are cannot be duplicated or copied, making them a unique.
Before NFTs, digital art was often duplicated, making it almost impossible to separate an original file from a copy. Through the use of NFT and Blockchain technologies, digital artworks can now be identified, authenticated, safely stored on and offline. Distinguishing them from duplicates is easy and convenient. This allows artists to earn money from their digitized artworks by selling original or limited copies.
NFTs are also now starting to be used in traditional (physical) art. St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum have created NFT’s from some of their artworks – including the likes of Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.
Art Museums and the Benefits of NFTs
It may be obvious but still needs to be said – the benefits of NFTs for digital art and media are tremendous! Art that doesn’t exist in a physical form can now be bought, sold, and collected, opening up many opportunities for artists, collectors, and investor. There are also great benefits to physical art from NFTs. They are as follows:
Art Museums Have Extra Income
Thanks to the introduction of NFTs, art museums and galleries now have the ability to earn additional revenue from their artworks. Real paintings can now stay securely in the same places while generating extra income from the sale of their one-of-a-kind or limited edition NFT copies. Art museums keep the originals for the public to enjoy, while their NFTs are sold Worldwide! A win-win.
Increasing Reach to the Younger Generations
The world has changed when it comes to digital technology, and it’s no secret that this new wave is guided by the younger generation and especially the millennials. Through the incorporation of NFTs into both, old and newer art, museums are increasingly becoming more accessible and attractive to younger art buyers.
The art world is slowly but surely moving into the 21st century, bringing large benefits to both, the younger generation and the museums. NFTs are opening new horizons for young people that are now motivated to find out more about fascinating museums and their unique paintings. This is helping to create a unique generational synergy between the old and the new art.
Without any doubt the art world has become a more democratic place, with a wider reach to a higher number of people. Artists are now able to promote and sell their work virtually, making the art market more accessible to people all over the world!
Investing in Art
Investing in art is an excellent way to diversify your portfolio, since well selected artworks are quite resilient to economic fluctuations. Traditionalists often accuse NFTs of reducing art to just monetary units, especially in situations where the artwork may not exist in a physical form. However, digital art does exist, and the digital world is here to stay. NFTs created a way for artists to monetize their digital creations, and this form of art needs to be respected. The world is now increasingly hybrid and ever-changing when it comes to technology, so the art market must embrace the concept of NFTs, as they are going to be a monumental part of the future of the entire art world!
Olyvia Kwok Decani has been collecting and investing in art for over 15 years. After graduating from Queen Mary’s University in 2002 with a degree in Statistics, she opened her first gallery in St. James’s London. Olyvia went on to create an art fund for a private bank in Switzerland and continued to utilize her knowledge of emerging markets, sourcing works from China, Japan, and Korea. With years of experience, alongside in-depth knowledge of the art market and an extensive global network, Olyvia continues to be one of the most prestigious and successful individuals in the industry. Her business, Willscape Management provides clients with expert perspectives and in-depth art knowledge in order to help them make a decision in confidence. They specialize in services ranging from finance and acquisition to portfolio management and art valuation. Their dedicated team of experts identify, value, and offer guidance on artworks of various time periods and movements.
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