NFTs, crypto art that is unique and tokenized, took the crypto world by storm in 2021. If you were talking about non-fungible tokens, art was always going to follow in the next sentence. But with or without NFTs, art was due for a change. The business model was becoming unsustainable for creators, and NFTs might be the lifeline that artists need to make their profession economically worthwhile. This article will look into how NFTs will influence the future of art.
Art back in the day and art now
The art business used to work in the same way for centuries. Artists sold their works to museums, galleries, or individual collectors. Those paid what they perceived as fair value, though whether that was actually the case was questionable because of market fragmentation. Buyers then proceeded to keep the artworks, and in doing so, choked the market and stopped any resale value dead in its tracks.
Compare this to today’s situation: by buying non-fungible tokens, art not only changes hands, but thanks to the open and flourishing market for digital art, it can be resold again. Digital artists can still profit from royalties from sales made in secondary markets. According to Cryptoart, the digital art market exceeded $200 million in volume in March 2021.
How NFTs change art
NFTs free up artists by exposing them to a bigger market and bringing in new audiences. They shift control back to the artist since he is free to choose the market he will sell his work on, and buyers have to compete for sellers instead of the other way round.
NFTs have been generating interest for several reasons. The pandemic resulted in the closure of almost all live art events while opening up virtual art exhibitions to compensate for that. NFTs were in the right place at the right time. Second, crypto as a whole saw an uptick in interest in 2020, as evidenced by the meteoric rise in the price of Ethereum. Lastly, NFT art had been growing steadily for three years before that and had finally reached critical mass to capitalize on the existing opportunity.
The future of NFT art
Artists are starting to come around to NFT crypto art. Some see them as separate creative expressions that can feed off one another. Collectors love the transparency and accessibility of NFT art. At the same time, digital art is verifiably unique, and buyers can give back to their favorite artists. Finally, buying rare art is becoming accessible to everyone (as long as you can afford it).
Another aspect of the growing appeal of NFT art is the community aspect. Entire virtual worlds are being built around NFT crypto art, where artists can showcase their pieces, and visitors can enjoy and bond over them. In that sense, NFT art might resemble street art from the 80s. It, too, started out as a fringe movement before permeating the mainstream and influencing pop culture as a whole. Soon, going to see NFT art might be considered the same social experience as today’s physical art gallery.