Wave One: Rarity — Digital Art

In the fourth part of this NFT series, we’d like to focus on the digital art scene and how NFTs are changing the face of the industry. From transforming the way artists market and present their art to the way it is sold on blockchain auctions.

Editor’s Note: As usual, I do not and will not pretend to know everything about the digital art space. However, I will try my best to make this as informative and helpful as I possibly can. Feel free to let me know if I am inaccurate or downright wrong — I want to be as informed as I possibly can. Now, without further ado, let’s get on with it!

NFTs are inevitable.With cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology entering mainstream consciousness, NFTs have experienced exponential growth and the numbers clearly show it.

In 2020, USD$200 million in NFTs changed hands. This February alone saw more volume than the previous year — with approximately USD$340million in sales.

If that doesn’t raise eyebrows then maybe this will: August was an earth-shattering, record-breaking month that blew the roof off of the market — USD$4 billion in total NFT volume.

Since the emergence of this technology, businesses, celebrities, and individual retailers have been able to sell their own offerings without the need for a middle man.

Pop culture multi-hyphenate Paris Hilton, celebrity entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal are among the big names in the business who’ve either dabbled heavily in NFTs or launched their own collections.

In our last medium post, we dove into the world of fine art and talked about its blockchain adoption. Today, we’re going to be talking about digital art and the waves that it has been making.

Digital Art

Since its nascence in the 1960s, digital art has grown into an innovative and pervasive mode of artistic expression. It is able to capture numerous forms of creative media — evolving, and redefining itself as time progresses.

With the advent of technology, what was once done with pens, pencils and brushes are now done with digital tools to create beautiful artworks never seen before. The digital medium has allowed artists to find new ways to engage viewers and collectors by leveraging technology.

One of the artists at the forefront of digital art and crypto media is an anonymous creator that goes by the name of Pak.

The collection of 19,737 cubes were sold for USD$17million during a three-day sale, achieving at least two records — the most number of Open Editions and the most number of bids for an auction item on Nifty Gateway (an NFT marketplace platform).
The collection of 19,737 cubes were sold for USD$17million during a three-day sale, achieving at least two records — the most number of Open Editions and the most number of bids for an auction item on Nifty Gateway (an NFT marketplace platform).

For over two decades, the artist has been active in the world of digital art — leveraging on blockchain technology, founding studio Undream, and creating an AI project Archillect. In April this year, Auction house Sotheby’s conducted an NFT auction of digital works by Pak titled “The Fungible”.

Source: https://www.sothebys.com/en/digital-catalogues/the-fungible-collection-by-pak

Can you see sound?

Source: originals

Another artist who has made waves in the NFT space is pioneer Amrita Sethi.

Her animated piece titled “2020” sold for USD$10k — exploring and adding in the elements that made 2020 the unprecedented year that it was.

From the Australian bushfires, Kobe Bryant’s untimely death, Black Lives Matter, Beirut explosions, and Covid-19 through to the amazing displays of kindness and humanity — it was all captured in a single portrait.

Her Voice Note Art © Collection listed on NFT marketplace Terra Virtua are some of her most famous works to date and led to her winning the “Outstanding Artist Award” at World Art Dubai 2019.

After recording a voice note, and capturing the fluid shape and structure of the soundwave, Amrita then hand-draws each vertical line into individual images — adding her own spin and flavour to the beauty and essence of that voice note. When completed, she then combines the artwork with the shape of the sound to create a new Voice Note Art ©.

As the first NFT artist in the UAE, she launched her first NFT portfolio in 2020 after leaving the world of finance. While she produces more traditional pieces, she is highly noted for her digital art.

Amrita Sethi brings words and sounds to life using visual and audio technology. Her first animated 3D art piece “WTNFT?!” — showcasing dynamic art — sold for USD$102k.

Moving Forward

The rise of artists such as Pak and Amrita is a huge win for the digital art community.

With auction houses placing a larger value on digital arts and adopting blockchain technology, the sector may see a shift towards a larger number of digital exhibitions.

Artists are now able to reach out to a larger and wider audiencetaking control of their work, planning their own digital exhibitions, and selling their uniquely minted art.

The possibilities of blockchain has proven to be increasingly endless. In the next article,we take a look at the Second Wave. Stay tuned for the next article in our NFT series!

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:

THIS IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE

Cryptocurrencies like NFTs are nascent and in very early-stage startups. They are heavily subjected to speculation on the secondary markets and should never be treated as a form of investment.

Our write-up is a humble attempt to show the technological advancements and innovation that the blockchain technology possesses.

Readers are advised to engage their own financial advisors and do their own due diligence before making their first purchase.

All information expressed here are in the views of the writer based on the date of article.

We are looking for industry leaders to co-create this together. Please write to [admin@defisingapore.io] for your interest to participate in this community-written project.

Linktr.ee/defisg

LESLIE DANIEL CHAN. Founder, DEFI Singapore

Want to learn more about NFTs?

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To promote financial literacy & awareness of benefits & risks of crypto assets, & advocate practical technical analysis education for consumers.