Crypto artists are trying to find a place in the art market through “irreplaceable tokens,” a technology that can authenticate digital works.
It is one of the most outstanding art platforms at the beginning of the year: Known Origin, a virtual gallery that sells, collects and displays digital art. On Tuesday, March 30, a painting by Ghanaian designer David Alabo, on fireWas auctioned at night. “It’s a bit confusing, Said the artist. I was in front of the screen, but nothing happened! “ The suspense did not last too long: six hours later, an anonymous collector bought the work for three ethers, equivalent to 4,979 euros in the cryptocurrency.
Because the bets of Known Origin and other digital art platforms such as SuperRare or MakersPlace are selling property rights in the form of NFT in the form of virtual currency.The acronym stands for «Non-fungible token» (Non-fungible token, French). These digital assets provide a theoretically reliable and tamper-proof authentication system through blockchain technology, which makes it possible to obtain intangible artworks. “The use of blockchain has successfully transferred the concept of identity verification to digital works previously reserved for traditional art”, The pioneer of cryptocurrency artist in Ghana, Ahmed Partey (Ahmed Partey) excited.
In order to understand better, this 30-year-old man proposed to combine the digital canvas with Mona Lisa. Anyone can print high-resolution copies of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpieces, but the originals will remain in the Louvre, and only one person will be valuable. On the contrary, before the blockchain revolution, digital works could be downloaded and copied infinitely, and its origin could not be traced. “If a collector wants to buy my work, Blockchain can now prove that it is indeed original, and it is this kind of authentication that makes it worthwhile, Ahmed Partey explained. This is a new era of digital art! “
The NFT market is still in its infancy, but its potential has not escaped the attention of collectors. So on March 11, Every day: the first 5,000 daysA digital mosaic made by American artist Beeple was sold at Christie’s auction house for $69.3 million (58.2 million euros).
In recent years, contemporary art in Ghana has achieved some international success, including the dedication of visual artists such as Amoako Boafo, who inspired Dior Homme’s spring and summer series. This painter will become the second most popular African artist in the world in 2020. Another rising star, Serge Attukwei Clottey, was exhibited at Desert X in the Coachella Valley in California in March. He made a name for himself by making plastic tapestries out of salvaged Jerry cans. However, the trajectory of these rapid developments is still very special: Ghana currently has only a few galleries, and the art market suffers from underinvestment, which is made worse by the Covid-19 crisis.
If you can still count on crypto artists in Ghana with one hand, Ahmed Partey is confident in the potential of NFTs. “Most of the time, in Ghana, being an artist is not really valued., He regrets. We often hear that this is not a real work. The price of our work is too low to be paid. Copyright is rarely enforced and plagiarism is easy. But the blockchain can end all of this. For crypto artists in Ghana, this is both a windfall and a guarantee of respect for their work. “
David Alabo believes that another benefit of NFT may be to restore Ghana’s digital reputation, which has been affected by the NFT business. «Sagawa Boys» These cybercriminals specializing in Internet fraud: “Through cryptocurrency, we have the ability to show the other side of African young people, honest and talented.”
NFT can also pave the way for a wider range of artists than the traditional art market to succeed. “The few art galleries that exist in Accra tend to seek very specific types of art and audiences., David Alabo continues. For me who operates outside of “Ghanaian Contemporary Art”, NFT allows me to reach collectors from all over the world. ” The artist hopes his example will encourage African talents “Unrecognizable and penniless” Switch to this technology to promote your own art “edge”.
Abena Oyiwaa is one of the young artists who still needs to be infamous. She is a trained accountant and self-taught painter, and recently experimented with digital art by drawing portraits on an iPad. The young woman hopes to sell her first NFT soon. “Blockchain is the future of the art market, She wanted to believe. But this does not mean that digital art will replace traditional art. “ Because for emerging cryptocurrency artists, it is still possible to mix real currency with virtual currency. For example: painting, scanning it in high-resolution, selling the scanned NFT… and then burning the canvas to make the digital version the original work. “Everyone on the blockchain has space, even traditional paintings and sculptures!”, Abena Oyiwaa (Abena Oyiwaa) concluded.