NFT デジタル作品 コレクターズ NFT digital artworks collectors
The art market is entering its NFT Period. Last month’s $69 million sale of a digital artwork by an artist known as Beeple ビープル at Christie’s is reverberating through the traditional art world, with top auction houses, galleries and collectors plotting countermoves and taking crash courses.
The industry-wide shakeup stems from the meteoric rise of digital artworks bundled with nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. These tokens amount to digital certificates of authenticity and allow for the trading and tracking of digital works that only exist on screens―a tall order for the art market until recently.
Proponents say they are a way to make digital assets scarce, and therefore more valuable.
On Niftygateway, the buyer can decide whether to pay in the cryptocurrency Ethereum or in standard currency like U.S. dollars. And unlike traditional resales in the conventional secondary art marketplace, the artist by contract receives 10% of any resale of a work. (In conventional resales, an artist gets nothing beyond the original price.)
Programmer Vignesh Sundaresan (ヴィグニッシュ・サンダレサン), who is based in Singapore, said in a blog post that he had purchased the most expensive digital artwork ever sold to “show Indians and people of colour that they too could be patrons” of the arts.
“This is the crown jewel, the most valuable piece of art for this generation,” Sundaresan said of the piece, that now ranks third among the most valuable artworks ever sold by a living artist, following works by Jeff Koons and David Hockney.
クリスティーズ：ビープルのデジタル作品 NFT（非代替性トークン）「The First 5,000 Days 」69.3 Million 米国ドル
Beeple “The First 5,000 Days” NFT Fetches US$69.3 Million @ Christie’s
An NFT can be created for anything, whether a century-old painting or a tweet, attesting to the blockchain’s guarantee that it’s the original, no matter how many free JPEG replicas you can dig up on Google Images. Half of the NFT sales made in 2020, according to the NonFungible report, were related to video games; 8% were connected to metaverses, virtual “worlds” where participants can buy land and virtual goods. Artworks made up only 5% of NFTs’ total market distribution, and most sold for under $100.
After the hype last month, the frenzy has subsided some, with the average price of an NFT sinking since February from $4,000 to about $1,500, according to NonFungible, and the average daily sales volume of NFTs falling from $19.3 million in mid-March to $3.03 million by April. Take note, that MURAKAMI Takashi 村上隆 stopped the live-auction of his newly created 108 “Murakami.Flowers”, shortly before the auction-deadline.
NFTs prices linked to art down 70%. MURAKAMI Takashi, today: I sincerely apologize to those who have already put in their bids, but I hope you will understand the logic behind this withdrawal, the aim of which is to later allow you to enjoy my NFT works more conveniently and with peace of mind.
Normally the NFT art collectors want to remain anonymous, like WhaleShark, whose actual ID is not disclosed. The British, Hong Kong-based collector began putting at least half his salary into Bitcoin as early as 2012, then in 2015 switched to Ether. As these currencies rose in value, he began looking for ways to spend them. In 2019 he started buying NFTs, and he now holds about 210,000. A digital repository he started called the $Whale Vault contains one of the largest assemblages of NBA Top Shots “moments,” video clips that are also certified NFTs. Top Shots are licensed by the NBA, making the clips, which can be released in editions of anywhere from 1 to more than 10,000, effectively digital trading cards. WhaleShark estimates that he’s spent about $150,000 on Top Shots and that this collection alone is now worth as much as $53 million, though the only way to know for sure would be to sell it.
The following three NFT collectors opened up their identity, see the cover pic.
Eric Young, who lives in the Bay Area, U.S., says he’s since invested more than $1 million, on 350 or so NFTs, and has sold only three works he considers “notable.” Two were by Mad Dog Jones, with Young paying $700 for both and later selling them for $240,000. “One of the things, if you’re part of the crypto economy, is that things become … I don’t want to say cheaper,” Young says, “but when you’re pricing things in Bitcoin terms or Ether terms, and not the U.S. dollar, it looks very different.” Indeed, if you have 100 Ether to spend on art, and Ether’s value is skyrocketing, pieces priced in dollars can quickly become bargains.
In 2020 Colborn Bell began to buy digital-art NFTs, working with Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile to build up a shared collection. He was later to the party than many cryptocurrency traders, but he made up for lost time. “I really aggressively started to collect,” he says. Bell estimates he’s now spent about $400,000, on almost 2,000 NFTs.
Since Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile began collecting, “the landscape has really changed,” he says. “You were able to grab a few pieces for a few hundred dollars. There were a lot less artists, and a lot fewer works going around.” He made headlines in February when a short Beeple video, an animation depicting Donald Trump naked and passed out on a trash-strewn lawn, sold for $6.6 million. He’d purchased it four months prior for about $67,000.
After parting ways with Bell, Rodriguez-Fraile went on to found the Lot 555 Collection, which he believes is “the deepest, most important collection in the world by far.” Nearly all of the pieces it contains belong solely to him.
He guesses that his personal collection numbers as many as 2,000 NFTs, some of which are displayed on his Nifty Gateway profile.
The biggest change in the NFT space occurred, Rodriguez-Fraile says, “when creators realized that this wasn’t only about the artist and selling, but that there was another side, with the collectors who do the buying.” Artists who can “foster good relationships and put their careers together in a professional and thoughtful manner were able to attract, let’s say, a bit more serious collectors.”
1 “Hollywood Accident” 2020, by luluxxX, courtesy: Holborn Bell
2 courtesy: Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile
3 “Picasso’s Bull”, by Trevor Jones, courtesy: Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile
4 “Garden of Oz”, by @artnome, courtesy: Holborn Bell
5 “This Isn’t Even Art” 2020, by Max Osiris, courtesy: Holborn Bell
6 courtesy: Eric Young
Collectors of digital NFTs see a ‘Wild West’ market worth the risk
But the emergence of websites like OpenSea and Nifty Gateway allowed artists to sell their works directly while enabling collectors to buy, store and resell them, making the NFT world almost as accessible as the stock market.
Mitchem, a blockchain specialist with Google Cloud, now owns more than 200 NFTs. Like Kang, he has no plans to sell them.
“It’s risky, but I feel works created from 2017 through the lockdowns of 2021 will be remembered as the defining moment of this new category,” he said. “This era will hold a special place in future portfolios.”
Pankaj Patil, a computer engineer, last year sold some of the 150 digital objects he had acquired, fearing for the future of the NFT market.
Today, this New Jersey resident said, “I definitely regret selling some of them,” even as he acknowledges that “this space is not easy to digest for everyone.”
Devan Mitchem said he can see why some people might have doubts.
“I can absolutely understand any skepticism,” he said. “There are several things to unpack” about how NFTs work.
For anyone interested in exploring this new market, Mitchem offers this advice: “Read up on the philosophies behind blockchains like Bitcoin.” That should make it clear, he added, that “these are global computers not owned by a single entity.”
“It’s still very much the Wild West,” he said, “but also a land of opportunity.”
Love of art, or money?
Mitchem, like many others, insists he is drawn by the artistic value of many young digital creators, even if the public image of the NFT is largely that of a fad, if not an outright fraud.
He speaks passionately about “Picasso’s Bull,” a cubist depiction of a bull by visual artist Trevor Jones and which he purchased for $23,000. He calls it a “seminal piece.”
NFT collectors, many of them computer programmers and most of them men, say they are also drawn by the constant innovation in the market.
They foresee a world in which NFTs can move between platforms, sites and virtual universes, unbound by the constraints of the physical world.
They also insist that the field is reducing its currently catastrophic carbon footprint — due to the huge energy demands of underlying cryptocurrencies — as it adopts new protocols for NFT creation and as less energy-intensive cryptocurrencies are developed.
Mitchem is such a firm believer in NFTs that he believes the term itself will disappear as the technology becomes commonplace.
“It simply becomes digital media and digital assets,” he said.
ここに載せた写真とスクリーンショットは、すべて「好意によりクリエーティブ・コモン・センス」の文脈で、日本美術史の記録の為に発表致します。Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-NoDerivative Works photos: cccs courtesy creative common sense