December 6, 2021

Bread Centrale

Life is art

NFT collectibles: Are they real art?

3 min read

Source: OpenSea Marketplace

Digital artworks hosted on the blockchain technology, usually referred to as NFTs, raise the latest version of the issue “what is art, and what is trash?” 

Everyone has seen those huge sums spent on squiggles on a virtual canvas or pixelated faces, and many art curators complain, “What a waste!” 

But that is what usually happens when one affluent cohort sees another break ranks and promote a new creative form with their newly acquired wealth. They point their fingers at the upstarts and cry, “they have no taste.” 

While the questions of taste vs hype are legitimate issues, for many the concept of “taste” is based on the notion that innovation is inherently bad.

The problem of price tags of art

The NFT valuations are sometimes unreasonable, but that does not discount the artistic value.

Buying and selling JPEGs is profitable for speculators at the moment, but it cannot stay that way. If that should be the sole activity of the NFT industry, the speculative horde will eventually migrate to better pastures. 

The question now is, what story will persuade the crypto-rich to invest their spare Sats and Wei in NFTs rather than Monets? Are NFT investors doomed, or will they two-step to our own tune? Will they create a living, breathing art industry out of the NFT market?

The attention of art critics could move the needle

When knowledgeable art critics with the necessary lineage for the discussion can articulate a meaningful case as to why a certain piece of matter or bits is “Art,” then it shall be so. 

Because the erudite art curators provide intellectual cover for busy rich people who want to invest in new art, but are not quite sure how to recognize good art.

This procedure is self-reflexive. Human psychology demands that if you are to buy a certain asset with potentially dubious worth, you will seek an independent opinion. Why would you buy an expensive JPEG only to publicly dismiss it in front of your peers? 

Art buyers need to feel more assurance about their potential purchases. 

The NFT art business is still nascent 

Some will mention the confirmation bias effect: An art buyer who already purchased an NFT art will inevitably rise up and boldly say that their 0x address contains works by the great masters of future digital art. 

As more individuals invest in the NFT creative form, the chorus of positive vibes may develop its own self-fulfilling prophecy. This would help support the nascent NFT art community where genuine artists with a vision are needed at the moment.

Art curation was always like that

The effect of curator’s opinion is not new to arts. It was always there, and it’s why the opinion of a salon of like-minded people critiquing art may make or destroy an aspiring artist.

As these debates take place around the world, both online and offline, the new and hot art forms gain attention. The community, as with everything else, will select who does real high art and who produces trash in the digital arena.

Bottom line

The NFT art form as a whole is likely to survive. There are too many renowned people invested in it. 

Considering that many of these people are well-known for their previous achievements, the mere fact that they are involved in the NFT ecosystem offers the art form the credibility it requires to thrive.

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