Artnet, founded in 1989 and one of the world’s largest platforms for fine art with over 60 million unique annual users, has launched into the world of NFTs. With an outstanding reputation for helping people discover, research, and collect art, it was a natural progression. Today, Artnet Auctions hosts more than 70 curated auctions annually. As of the end of August, the value of transactions sold on Artnet Auctions had increased by 20% YoY to 18.5 million USD, and revenues have increased by 15% to 3.6 million USD.
Now it has launched ArtNFT, the company’s highly-anticipated on-chain NFT platform. Its inaugural sale, ArtNFT: Beginnings, is the first dedicated space for NFT artists on the well-known platform. The first collection features some of the most iconic NFTs of today and the works reflect on artists experimenting with this technology. The platform includes art from early pioneers and the inventors of the NFTs to the generation of digital artists that have fully embraced NFTs.
Including works by Georg Nees, Herbert W. Franke, Vuk Ćosić, Miltos Manetas, Kevin McCoy, Dmitri Cherniak, Osinachi, Justin Aversano, Pindar van Arman, FEWOCIOUS, and Kevin Abosch, Artnet’s inaugural auction brings together a tightly curated selection of rare examples from within this burgeoning scene.
Stand-out works featuring in the collection include Quantum leap by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy. Evolving over a three-year cycle, this code-based NFT is inspired by their 2014 work Quantum, the first-ever artwork to be tokenized on the blockchain. Another work that catches the eye is Pindar Van Arman’s work titled Emerging Faces which is a collaboration with Robert “3D” Del Naja, a British street artist and a member of the electronic band Massive Attack. Pindar Van Arman is an American artist, roboticist, and pioneer of digital art. Van Arman has been building robots for use in his artistic practice since 2015. Van Arman’s robots hold a brush and paint patterns directed by an algorithm.
“Artnet has spent the past many months listening to and learning from the extraordinary NFT and crypto communities,” said Colleen Cash, Vice President of Auctions. “We made it a goal to enter the space as authentically as possible, and we are proud to say we will be the first art world player launching with a natively crypto auction from the get-go. We have built out a platform that will speak meaningfully to the ethos of the NFT community and one that will be familiar and welcoming to our traditional communities as well.”
In order to provide the best possible works and user experience, Artnet also established an NFT advisory committee, made up of industry experts, and market and opinion leaders in the field. The NFT advisory committee includes Colborn Bell, Tim Cang, Nifty Naught, Claire Silver, Michael Ugwu, TokenAngels, and The Beauty and the Punk.
Artnet aims to become a go-to platform for NFT artists and collectors, “The NFT world has built a multi-faceted community, and we are excited to introduce ArtNFT as a space to discover and engage with these cutting-edge works. With this launch, we are combining Artnet’s global reach, knowledge, and expert curation to deliver an integrated experience for the digital art world,” explained Artnet CEO Jacob Pabst.
Art as you know and as you consume it is evolving like never before. The NFT artists that are becoming familiar to us today are enabled by technology that helps to develop new art forms such as generative art and create new types of art. As John Culkin said in 1967 “’We shape our tools and, thereafter, our tools shape us.” This is certainly happening in the world of blockchain and art today.
It is fast becoming fashionable to incorporate some element of computer-generated art into even the most prestigious collections and art exhibitions.