Cutting a Banksy Into 10,000 (Digital) Pieces

by AryanArtnews
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In the latest example of the art market turmoil, a prominent former auction executive collaborated with cryptocurrency experts in May to buy the 2005 Banksy painting “Love Is in the Air” for $ 12.9 million and is now Will sell 10,000 copies as NFT. Or a non-fungible token.

Executive Loic Gouser, who overturned the traditional auction format while at Christie’s, is the platform to direct and merge Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings for $ 450.3 million at the 2017 Contemporary Art Auction. We supported the establishment of Particle. Art and technology aimed at reaching a larger pool of potential buyers.

“When I was a kid looking at auctions and catalogs, I always felt that it was impossible to participate financially and was excluded by definition,” Gouzer said in a telephone interview. I did. “By segregating work with 10,000 NFTs, a much wider audience will be able to participate in the collection experience.

“Of course you can enjoy art when you go to a museum, but enjoying art also means owning it,” he continued. “That’s why people collect.”

If successful, the venture will help a consortium of multiple buyers challenge the excellence of billionaire collectors to drive competition in the fast-growing categories of the art market as pandemics accelerate online commerce. May be useful. According to the database Artprice, NFTs are becoming more and more popular, accounting for one-third of online sales, or 2% of the total art market.

Last month, thousands of crypto fans (who call themselves Constitution DAOs) pooled funds to bid on the original print of the Constitution at Sotheby’s (raising about $ 40 million, collector and collector). Lost to hedge fund mogul Kenneth C. Griffin, paying $ 43.2 million). Last March, digital artist Beeple (aka Mike Winkelmann) sold his NFT “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” for $ 69 million at Christie’s online auction.

Longtime collectors have been skeptical of NFTs, and art experts say Particle Enterprise is just the latest iteration of the unproven virtual art world. “A work of art is a unique object, and art-loving collectors want to own the object itself,” said Megan Fox Kelly, chairman of the Association of Professional Art Advisors. “NFTs are separate entities from objects. I think it’s still very early to understand how these NFTs exist as works of art,” Kelly added. “Currently, they appear to be a potentially enormously profitable investment vehicle, and the conversation around them is focused on it.”

Banksy’s physical painting “Love Is In The Air” features the image of a bomber throwing a bouquet of flowers at Art Basel Week at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami from December 3rd. Will be exhibited at.

Banksy is divided into 100 x 100 grids, creating 10,000 unique squares or particles, each sold as an NFT for about $ 1,500. All particles represent minority ownership of the painting and come with a collector’s card showing the entire artwork and the location of the particles on the painting.

According to Gouser, artist Urs Fischer’s first NFT (a unique digital token encrypted by the artist’s signature and individually identified on the blockchain) was sold on the auction app Fair Warning for about $ 98,000 last April. From that experience, I began to seek similar sales. “I realized that so many people were interested in art, but there was no way to get involved in it,” Gouzer said.

Gouzer, former chairman of Christie’s post-war and contemporary art, has launched a new venture with co-founders Shingo Lavine and Adam Lavine, who recently rebranded Voyager, which connects financial institutions and blockchain. Other founders are Philip Eytan, co-founder and chairman of Voyager, and Oscar Salazar, Uber’s Chief Technology Officer and Chief Technology Officer.

Particles has raised $ 15 million in seed funding, and Gouzer said it will raise more to expand its inventory. The group was encouraged by a recent example of Constitution DAO. ConstitutionDAO has raised the cryptocurrency Ethereum because it lost the bid. (According to Verge, the group is currently trying to refund backers and incurs high transaction fees.)

“It showed that people want to be part of something bigger,” Shingo Lavine said. “There is a great desire to have access to masterpieces of art and expensive relics.”

The founder said it also addresses a broad desire for ownership. “There is a difference between someone who has the image and downloads it, and someone who owns it and says’it’s mine’,” Shingo added, adding NFT buyers. We are embracing this new story of owning things. “

However, the legal issues of piracy and fraud in the NFT market have not been tested in court and create a risk factor. It is also unclear whether other countries will recognize the effectiveness of NFT sales. “It’s a lot more complicated from a legal point of view because of these markets, third parties with their own contracts and currency issues,” said Diana Wierbicki, Partner of Withers worldwide and Global Head of Art Law. I am.

The company has set up the Particle Foundation, a non-profit organization that maintains purchased artwork and tours for exhibitions. 1% of purchases will be donated to the Foundation. The Foundation acts as a so-called piece of protection, ensuring that no one can claim possession of a physical painting. “You can’t resell your work,” Gouzer said.

Interested buyers will be able to sign up starting December 13th, during which time they will be on the waiting list at Banksy Unit sales will begin in the week of January 10th and will take place on the Avalanche blockchain platform. Particles states that it strives to distribute units to different buyers, rather than having individual buyers acquire multiple buyers.

Harold Eitan, CEO of Particles, said: “We sell you this concept of ownership of some of the paintings. On some platforms you can buy a” share “of the artwork, but we buy a unique piece of work. Promoting. This is another experience, focusing on collection rather than investment. “

Regarding starting with Banksy’s work, Gouser said that the rebellious spirit of the painting is a good metaphor for what the particles themselves are trying to do — challenge the status quo.

“It’s a work for a revolution,” Gouzer said. “We are not trying to change the world here, but we are trying to reach a new community and compete with some of the world’s largest collectors.”

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