The Second Renaissance – NFTs

Michaelangelo’s Doni Tondo, Image via Artnet

Michelangelo, whether you’re talking about the artist or the Ninja Turtle, will now have something other than a name in common – NFTs!

The Uffizi Gallery sold a Michaelangelo’s Doni Tondo NFT for $170,000 and has begun to mint more masterpieces from its collection including a Botticelli and Titian NFTs. At the same time artist Jacob Shedevrs minted the piece TMNT Facing Backwards, which also sold, albeit for a fraction of an Ethereum.

Shedevrs’s TMNT Facing Backwards, Image via Mintable

Taking a look at current cryptocurrency trends, NFTs are becoming more and more popular by the minute, for everything from art to real estate to retail goods and more. NFTs, being non-fungible tokens, or unique digital assets, are created and minted to the blockchain, which publicly certifies its authenticity and ownership.

Galleries who mint Renaissance paintings and other famous pieces of art are not only creating quite the PR buzz for themselves these days but they are opening up the world of art for those who may not be able to afford the millions upon millions of dollars needed to afford an original work by one of the masters. The beautiful part is that buyers will also know they are purchasing something authentic as the NFTs encryption or “signature” is near impossible to duplicate.

So how does this work? First, the gallery has to create a digital copy of the painting. Everything is perfectly placed down to precise proportions of the original painting. Next, the digital copy is placed for auction. Whoever the winning bidder is receives their copy of the digital work with a Certificate of Authenticity. Then an NFT token is created and sent along with the Certificate. As the token is created, it is added to the blockchain. Now, the winning bidder owns the only official digital copy of the original painting and the world knows who the owner is.

Imagine the boost to your social status in the art world if you’re a collector!

The Future Renaissance of NFT

Although it looked like a trend at first, NFTs appear to be here to stay. With the 2020 pandemic forcing so many people into a digital culture, the presence of a purely digital art scene makes total sense.

Paintings are not the only art that is being traded through the use of NFT’s. Musicians are trading beats, sounds, and samples to both enthusiasts and other artists. We have read stories about videos being created that are being sold. You’ve probably heard of the now infamous Top Shot’s. Over $230 million has been traded in these videos of basketball’s greatest moments.

This is really what art is about! Art is meant to be a mirror to society, a reflection of the times that we are in. People really were inside their houses around the world for over a year. Minimal outdoor activity, most people stayed together with the people that they lived with. So did the artists! They went into their homes, their studios, the “lab”, their offices, and did what they knew how to do, which was create art, and in these digital times they made digital pieces.

Since the revolution of the internet (minus the Dot Com Crisis), the human race has been fortunate enough to actually connect with people around the world. For the first time, we as humans, can truly see what a person is doing right now on the opposite side of the globe. This opens up a new life for Renaissance paintings and all art, music, videos and more that came before.  Millennials and Generation Z / Alpha Generations who may not have discovered certain Renaissance artists may have a newfound passion for them as NFTs, while old school art traditionalists may find this a fun foray into the modern art world.

In the end, this is an exciting new way for galleries to fund their exhibits, for collectors to showcase their purchases to the world, and for artists to find a new audience and a new way to capitalize on their talents. Whether it’s the Mona Lisa, ever alluring, or your notebook that has doodles on it from every airport you’ve sat in, the history of art is part of what makes it important, and NFTs a way to preserve these pieces in a digital way.

Have you purchased or minted an NFT? We’d love to hear about your experience in the Facebook group.

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