NFTs have changed the way artists work and the rules of the art market. NFTs too and especially in the field of photography, which, along with collectibles, digital art and membership tokens like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, are taking a backseat in media hype, NFTs are unleashing more and more of its potential. The fact that interest in photographic NFTs is growing was demonstrated at the latest by the sale of artist Justin Aversano’s TWIN FLAMES #49 in May 2021, the fifth most expensive photo ever sold. With a selling price of 871 Ether, the equivalent of 2.4 million US dollars, it is also the most expensive photo NFT ever. In November of last year, Aversano founded the NFT platform, which focuses on curated photo collections, along with Kris Graves, Alexx Shadow, and Jonas Lamis. quantum art. Together with the German online and print publisher of fine art photography the tap Launching Thursday, March 24, NFT’s first collaboration with works by Julia Kafizova, Marcin T. Jozefiak, and Margaret Murphy. Open sea at first. We talk to Simon Lovermann, founder of Der Greif, and Margaret Murphy about the motivations, opportunities, challenges and new paths through NFTs in photographic art.
NFTs are changing the art scene
Flash in the pan or wildfire? Simon Lovermann has a clear stance on the impact of NFTs on the art market: “In my opinion, NFTs will change the art business in the long run, they already are.” While NFTs were initially considered a fad, sales figures on the NFT market have long since created new facts that even the established art world can no longer ignore.
With veteran auction houses like Sotheby’s or christs, which have contributed significantly to the success and presence of NFTs in the art market with spectacular auctions such as Beeple’s gigantic work “Everydays: the First 5000 Days”, a process of change was also set in motion in the art world itself. art. According to Lovermann, “classical gatekeepers like galleries” are changing and are being forced to reorient themselves by “the power that potential financial empowerment unfolds on the part of creative people.”
A process that is gradually but unstoppably launched as a consequence of the progressive disintegration of the power structures in the traditional art market. So far, the sticking points have been manageable and the “discrepancy between the traditional art world and NFT collectors” remains very clear, says Lovermann: “I’ve seen very little to no overlap so far.” But what is mainly due to the loss of importance of institutions: “What relevance do you have as an institution, gallery, etc. if your market power is potentially diminishing?”
How artists benefit from NFTs
The fact that distribution structures are changing will primarily benefit the artists themselves. For them, the “potential benefits are diverse,” says Lovermann. Especially when it comes to “financial independence”. And not just right away. Finally, the great merit of Smart Contracts is that artists can permanently benefit from their growing market value. “Secondary royalties potentially create passive income that seems pretty revolutionary,” says Lovermann. Also revolutionary because artists do not normally participate in sales in the “existing secondary markets in the art business, that is, the classic auction houses”.
However, NFTs are not a surefire success. Dealing with them also requires new skills. Proximity, authenticity, networking: in addition to the trade, artists must also master the game of social networks and position themselves as a brand. “A limitation that I don’t think artists entering the NFT market are prepared for,” says Margaret Murphy. “There is a lot going on right now and things are moving fast in the virtual world. You have to be your own biggest advocate.”
However, if you are willing to play by the rules of the NFT market, there are numerous synergy effects. “In the NFT world there is an amazing community of artists, curators and collectors who are passionate about transforming the way the art world works.” Margaret Murphy also sees the overall goal as “rejecting systemic monopolies that otherwise keep art as we know it under lock and key.” She though she admits that she “would be lying if I said money wasn’t a big factor in my decision to do NFT.”
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