I don’t get NFT art. Do you?

Macrocosm by artist Jen Stark. This immersive art work was recently sold for 13.50 ETH or $53,040.69 at Foundation.app, an NFT marketplace. View the transaction history here: https://foundation.app/@JenStark_Vault/cosmos/60

It seems not everyone is like me. There are many who see beauty in seemingly random bits and pieces of colour in the above picture, which is part of a multimedia artwork.

Artist Jen Stark who created Microcosm says, “each shape in this series emits a symphony of unique tones and is inspired by the flow of the universe.” It is not a static image on a canvas but a full-blown audio-visual experience. Watch Macrocosm here.

Now, I might not fully get universe’s flow or intergalactic art but somebody did and paid $53,040.69 to buy this NFT a month ago. And every time Macrocosm is resold, Stark will earn royalty in Ether, the native cryptocurrency from Ethereum. This is what some NFTs or non-fungible tokens give artists — a steady source of income without ever losing copyright. There is no uppity curator, gallery or agent deciding the worth.

If you have been exposed only to Ravi Varmas or Rembrandts like me, I would assume that your art appreciation could be a bit limited. Especially when it comes to multimedia generative art works that are being turned into NFTs every other day. They might not be your typical oils and acrylics but that hasn’t stopped some of them from being valued in millions.

This frenzy of demand for NFTs didn’t happen overnight. NFTs have been around since 2014. And it is just this year even the social visionaries and influencers like GaryVee, Elon Musk and Paris Hilton jumped on the bandwagon. So here is a short timeline of the evolution that is taking art and artists to new places, if you were looking to take a dip yourself:

  • 2015: Bitchcoin, a conceptual art work by Sarah Meyohas. That pun is surely coin-worthy
  • 2017: CryptoKitties game from Canadian Dapper Labs allows players to trade animated cats on a blockchain ledger; attract VC investment & some cats sell for more than $100,000
  • 2019: Artist Al Simpson uses a process called “minting” to turn her digital piece NYC Neon into an NFT
  • 2020: Bitcoin price on an all-time surge. US-based National Basketball Association with Dapper Labs sell clips and images of famous players as NFTs for millions

The Beeple frenzy catapulted NFT sales to a new high, $12 billion by early December, says WaPo.

That’s where we are now. India has more than 1,000 creators who have listed their works on homegrown digital marketplaces WazirX, Vibranium, and Byteblock.art. Some artists also sell on foreign platforms such as Opensea, Rarible and Foundation braving higher gas or transaction fees, reports SoftCopy. Of course, the celebs are in as well — from Sunny Leone and Salman Khan to Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Hassan showing that Indian actors are ever committed to undertaking giant technological leaps for some quick ETH.

So, I browse the Indian market hoping to start my NFT account to ring in the New Year. There are desi knockoffs of CryptoPunks, a rather splashy Pug series, and a Santa mutt. And of course Salman Bhai with the ‘Indian’ head bob. While the others sit on their shelves unsold, Bhai has already been sold twice and is on the market again at 10x the original price at $239! I haven’t stopped shaking my head at this piece of art history.

Happy New Year! May it ring in more original art and less bobbleheads.

(CryptoChronicles: A Column On All things Crypto & Web3)

Originally published here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-dont-get-nft-art-do-you-sandhya-soman/

I am a journalist-writer, content marketer & Crypto enthusiast. A perennial lurker at the intersection of technology & culture: My Work. Recently took a deep dive into Crypto, NFT & Web3. Like the article? Share & let me know in comments below. Connect with me on LinkedIn & Twitter.

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Sandhya Soman

I am a journalist-writer, content marketer & Crypto enthusiast. A lurker at the intersection of technology & culture. My deep dives into Crypto, NFT & Web3.