New NFT hype? The tokenization of photographic art

NFTs have changed the way artists work and the rules of the art market. NFTs are also and above all in the field of photography, which, alongside collectibles, digital art and membership tokens such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, takes a back seat in the media frenzy. , NFTs are increasingly unfolding their potential. That interest in photo NFTs is growing was latest proven with the sale of TWIN FLAMES #49 by artist Justin Aversano in May 2021, the fifth most expensive photo ever sold. With a selling price of 871 Ether – the equivalent of US$2.4 million – it is also the most expensive photo NFT ever. In November last year, Aversano founded the NFT platform, which focuses on handpicked photo collections featuring Kris Graves, Alexx Shadow and Jonas Lamis. quantum art. In collaboration with the German online and print publisher for fine art photography The griffin launches Thursday, March 24 the first NFT collaboration with works by Julia Kafizova, Marcin T. Jozefiak and Margaret Murphy OpenSea in the beginning. We spoke to Der Greif Founder Simon Lovermann 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 forest fire? Simon Lovermann has a clear position on the impact of NFTs on the art market: “In my opinion, NFTs will change the art business in the long term – they are already doing that”. While NFTs were initially considered a fad, the sales numbers in the NFT market have long since created new facts that even the established art world can no longer ignore.

Margaret Murphy – Desperate for Affection

With veteran auction houses like Sotheby’s or Christie, who 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 in the art world itself was also set in motion. According to Lovermann, “classic gatekeepers like galleries” are changing and being forced to reorient themselves by “the power that potential financial empowerment wields from creatives”.

A process that begins gradually but inexorably due to the gradual disintegration of power structures in the traditional art market. So far, the sticking points have been manageable and “the gap between the mainstream art world and NFT collectors” is still very clear, says Lovermann: “I’ve seen very little or no overlap until now”. 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 above all benefit the artists themselves. For them, the “potential benefits are diverse,” says Lovermann. Especially when it comes to “financial independence”. And not just immediately. Finally, the great merit of Smart Contracts is that artists can permanently benefit from their increasing market value. “Secondary royalties potentially create passive income that seems pretty revolutionary,” says Lovermann. Revolutionary also because artists do not normally participate in sales on the “existing secondary markets in the art trade, that is to say the classic auction houses”.

margaret murphy

However, NFTs are not a surefire hit. Dealing with them also requires new skills. Proximity, authenticity, networking: In addition to the profession, 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’s a lot going on at this point 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, the synergy effects are plentiful. “In the world of NFTs, there is an incredible community of artists, curators and collectors who are passionate about transforming the way the art world works.” Margaret Murphy also sees the overarching goal of “rejecting systemic monopolies that otherwise keep art as we know it under lock and key”. Although she admits, “I would be lying if I said money wasn’t a major factor in my decision to do NFTs.”

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