Non-fungible tokens are original, unique digital collectibles — and they have taken over the art world in the past few months. Their value fluctuates depending on demand. NFTs can really be anything digital, such as drawings, music and other but a lot of the current excitement is around using the tech to sell digital art NFT.
NFTs are designed to give you something that can not be copied
Ownership of an NFT art, though the artist can still keep the copyright and reproduction rights – similar with physical artwork. To put it in terms of physical art collecting: anyone can buy a Van Gogh print. But only one person can be the owner of the original.
NFT art has long been undervalued, in large part because it’s so freely available. To help artists create financial value for their work, NFTs are adding the key ingredient of scarcity. For some collectors, if they know the original version of something exists, they’re more likely to long for the “authentic” piece.
NFTs represent virtual assets that are distinguishable from copies. This approach has led the artists to sell their digital artworks. They are sold as assets with protected copyrights in the form of NFT art. It is how NFTs have come to the forefront as worldwide artists have made millions with their auctioned artworks as NFTs.
Artists created their artwork and sold them for money, long before. Their artwork value could go up, but the actual artist could not reap any monetary profit. The arrival of NFTs is a real game-changer and revolutionary for artists, though. The NFTs allow the creators to exchange their artwork with complete verifiability to the actual issuer. Therefore can the artists monetize their creations and protect their copyrights as well.
“If you are an artist and still don’t use NFT (Non-Fungible Token), you are potentially missing millions of dollars.”
― Olawale Daniel
How does ownership work for NFT art?
NFTs use blockchain technology. It helps to track the background and ownership without restricting the free circulation of NFT art in the digital environment. Despite selling the digital art NFT, it remains accessible to everyone in the digital sphere. NFT promotes the secondary trading of digital art. When any NFT art gains more and more popularity and followers, the original collector can resell it for a higher price. It opens an expansive and transformative secondary market for digital artists and helps them grow financially when their artwork grows in value.
How do NFTs help in buying and selling the artwork?
When someone purchases an artist’s masterpiece in NFT, he buys a unique token which represents the digital artwork. The ownership gets recorded and stored in a tamper-proof manner on the blockchain. Owning an artwork doesn’t limit how the artwork seems or shared digitally. With NFT art, owning a digital artwork is very playful as each artwork is sharable and tradeable among collectors. This raises its value. Also, the buyer holds an excellent reputation due to the collection of creative artworks with a high value.
How Disruptive Will NFT Art Be on the Art Industry?
Anders Petterson, founder and managing director of ArtTactic, declared regarding Penta´s NFT Art Market Report 2021, the group’s first analysis of the subject:
“The rapid rise of the NFT market, but lack of research and information, presented us with an opportunity to start covering this area from the beginning, and to be able to follow and monitor its developments as we go forward.”
Defining what constitutes “NFT art” is still evolving.
NFT art market volume is still almost negligible, compared to the traditional art market. Unlike the online sales totaling US$12.4 billion, the traditional art market totaled $50.1 billion in 2020, according to the annual Art Market Report from Art Basel and UBS.
What gives the Rise to NFT Art?
The crypto wealth has risen exponentially by over 570% rise in Bitcoin prices, from around $8,500 in March 2020 to more than $50,000 in March 2021. According to CoinMarketCap, the crypto market is currently worth around $2.5 trillion.
Petterson claims: “With crypto millionaires facing limited opportunities to diversify this wealth into the physical, real world—the crypto investment community has found solace in the emerging world of digital collectibles and NFTs.”
The number of Google searches for “NFT” peaked in March, around the time a work by the digital artist Beeple fetched a record US$69 million at Christie’s.
Where to buy NFT art
There are several marketplaces where NFT art can be purchased. There is for example the world´s first and largest marketplace in the world OpenSea. The structure of the marketplace is remarkably well-arranged with various NFT art offers. What is great about OpenSea is that if you’re selling items on OpenSea, you can sell an item for a fixed price, create a declining price listing, or make an auction listing.
There is also another marketplace – Rarible. The platform places a particular focus on art assets. Creators can use Rarible to “mint” new NFTs to sell their creations, whether they be books, music albums, digital art, or movies. Rarible buys and sells NFTs in categories like art, photography, games, metaverses, music, domains, memes, and more.
There are many more platforms dealing with NFT art. It only depends on the sellers or buyers preferences.
Best NFT artists
NFTs are the hottest art commodity in town. Artists of all ages and from all over the world, from 18-year-old Fewocious, to 87-year-old José Delbo, are taking over the NFT crypto art world. More than 509,000 NFT artworks were sold in March 2021 alone, totaling more than $85 million in sales. Let’s have a look at the top 12 NFT artists:
Total Artwork Value: $113,100,017.88
Mike Winkelmann, a.k.a Beeple, is undoubtedly the best-selling NFT artist list after the historic auction with Christie’s auction house. Selling for $69,346,250.00 the Beeple NFT was largely responsible for the mainstream media’s coverage on NFT sales. The piece’s title is “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”.This was also the first time an established auction house sold crypto art and accepted cryptocurrency as payment.
2. Trevor Jones
Total Artwork Value: $18,083,354.42
Trevor Jones is “absolutely fascinated” with the art and tech connection. After buying his first Bitcoin in 2017, he became inspired with the power of crypto technology and its conjunction with art. Jones has sold 5,284 artworks averaging $3,409.65 each and has hence collaborated with some of the biggest names in NFT.
His highest selling piece, “Genesis,” was a collaboration with José Delbo (Argentine comic book designer), painting and animating Delbo’s drawing of Batman. “The Bitcoin Angel” is his highest-selling solo piece. The piece sold for $188,888.00 is an oil on canvas painting depicting two marble statues in front of a gold Bitcoin.
Total Artwork Value: $18,037,594.08
Fewocious is a teen artist leading an NFT art Rennaissance. The 18-year-old is a pop surrealist digital artist. With more than 50,000 followers across Instagram and Twitter, the young artist has sold a total of 3,103 NFT pieces, averaging $5,812.16 each.
His highest selling piece is “The Everlasting Beautiful.” It depicts the face of a woman with a hand on her cheek. Each feature is designed differently. With both pops of colors and monochromatic segments. The background, filled with beauty and love-related statements, mirrors a 20-second video which, at one point, says to the viewer “just tell me I’m pretty.” The woman’s eyes scintillate as her mouth moves. The piece comes along with a 30×30 inch canvas, oil paint and gloss varnish.
Total Artwork Value: $16,023,212.5
Pak is anonymous and is one of the NFT Art space’s biggest mysteries. Whether an individual or collective with 1,691 artworks sold, averaging $9,354.99 each, the artist is recognized by some of the biggest tech names in the world, most notably Elon Musk.
“Metarift,” is Pak’s highest-selling artwork at $900,072.96. It depicts a six-sphere structure surrounded by what looks to be a four-ridged band. Throughout the 12-second video, the two structures turn opposite to each other, with a metallic tint showcasing the materials’ different undertones.
5. MAD DOG JONES
Total Artwork Value: $14,344,607.33
Mad Dog Jones is dynamic, adoptive and surreal. Combining music and art, Mad Dog Jones has sold 1,567 NFT artworks, averaging $9,063.52 a piece.
Jones’ highest selling piece is “Boardwalk,” is a 43-second video of a drawn scene in some metropolis. A cab is parked in an alley, building towering overhead. And small raindrops fall onto the scene. The raindrops fall in rhythm with an accompanying beat. The piece sold for $388,888.00 on February 21, 2021.
Total Artwork Value: $11,624,226.24
Mike Parisella, a.k.a SlimeSunday, is a digital collage artist based in Boston. SlimeSunday’s exploration of bizarre and erotic topics has earned him more than 500,000 followers on Instagram. Until now, he’s sold a total of 6,508 NFT artworks.
Averaging $1,784.64 a piece, SlimeSunday has also made a name for himself together with music producer and NFT artist 3lau, creating the ssx3lau duo.
His highest-selling piece “Gunky’s Uprising,” is a collaboration with 3lau. Although the world mainly sees his digital two-dimensional designs, SlimeSunday’s animation skills shine via the ssx3lau collaborations.
SlimeSunday’s highest-selling solo piece is “The Process.” It shows his digital collage-making process, accompanied by music from 3lau.
Total Artwork Value: $11,113,676.85
Hackatao is a OG crypto artist who makes the top-selling chart with a total of 1,504 artworks sold at an average of $7,310.61 a piece. His name consists of two words. “Hack” after the pleasure of going under the skin and discovering what’s inside. And “Tao,” for Yin and Yang in Taoism, Hackatao explores issues of society, environment, humanity and crypto.
The highest-selling piece, “Kim Jong Un – ‘Dead and Alive’ Edition” is an animation of North Korea’s infamous leader, moving between flesh and skeleton. The piece was sold for $276,136.88. Described as “Like Schrödinger’s cat, until we open the dictatorship box he’s both alive and dead,” the artists play with state of being and color in signature Hackatao fashion.
Total Artwork Value: $10,133,787.62
Xcopy is a London-based digital artist and crypto enthusiast. He has sold 1,907 NFT artworks. Exploring the themes of death, dystopia and apathy, his work almost always features some sort of flashing light pattern.
Averaging $5,240.90 per piece, XCopy’s highest recorded sale was for “Death Dip” at $1,812,660.00. The piece features a black screen with a white skull and rapidly shifts through different angles. Surrounding blue and green squares quickly change position. They are giving the illusion of a full-body skeleton moving in circles across the screen.
Total Artwork Value: $9,161,894.41
Justin Blau a.k.a as 3LAU is a DJ and fintech aficionado. He has been releasing electronic music since 2011.
3LAU was also an early believer in crypto and blockchain, and is now one of the leading names in the NFT movement. He has sold 6,090 artworks to date, averaging $1,505.54 each and has begun releasing his music as NFT art almost exclusively.
His highest selling piece, “Gunky’s Uprising,” was a collaboration with mentioned artistic director SlimeSunday and sold for $1,333,333.33. A 3-minute song is accompanied by SlimeSunday’s visuals, and was sold under their joint name – SSX3LAU. 3LAU also launched the first blockchain-powered music festival in 2018.
Total Artwork Value: $8,923,250.78
The Canadian singer Grimes was a critically-acclaimed alt-pop star long before entering the NFT space. She has sold 1,122 artworks averaging $7,983.33 each and in turn Grimes’ fanbase transferred to the NFT space rather quickly.
Her highest-selling piece of NFT art is called “Death of the Old,” and was sold for $388,938.00. Pink and white cupids fly above what seems to be a castle in ruins. There is a sword stuck in the mountains holds the center of the screen as we rotate through the image in the background. Synth-pop demo “Anhedonia” plays throughout the video as Grimes’ cupids fly closer to the viewer.
Total Artwork Value: $8,433,625.45
WhIsBe is an anonymous street and fine artist and turned his iconic Vandal Gummy Bear series into NFTs. The beloved sugary snacks are juxtaposed with a prison mugshot background. WhIsBe’s physical installations predominantly feature a red gummy bear. His NFTs play with the color and texture of both the bear and the mugshot background. WhIsBe has sold 1,650 NFTs averaging $4,507.38 per sale.
The artist’s nickname, a shorthand for “What is Beauty,” encourages viewers to think about their own critiques on problematic institutions. His highest grossing piece, “Exhibit,” sold for $250,000.00 is a 30-second video. It features the apparent skeleton of a gummy bear, still holding the prison mugshot plaque while roped-off in what is eerily reminiscent of an exhibit at a natural history museum.
Total Artwork Value: $8,191,686.80
DJ and art director duo SSX3LAU hits the top-selling NFT charts as its own independent creator. The long-time partnership between 3LAU and SlimeSunday has yielded 5,740 artworks, averaging $1,428.48 each. The duo’s highest-grossing piece, “Gunky’s Uprising,” is part of their latest “Iridescent” drop. It sold for $1,333,333.33.
It is a three-minute video that starts with black and white images of a seemingly mountainous landscape. As the beat drops, pops of neon color take over the screen in every color of the rainbow. The mirrored landscape transforms into geometric shapes.
NFTs are having their big-bang moment: collectors and speculators have spent more than $200 million on an array of NFT-based artwork, memes and GIFs in the past month alone. Compared with $250 million throughout all of 2020.
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