philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Artists Jump Into NFTs, Seeing a Digital Bonanza

Top-tier artists like Damien Hirst and John Gerrard already are converting some of their works into NFTs. Now, Urs Fischer is diving in. The 47-year-old Swiss-born artist will offer his first NFT, “Chaos #1 Human,” on Fair Warning, an auction app, on April 11. The animated work depicts a 3D scan of a brown egg and a cigarette lighter slowly colliding and moving through each other. It is part of a new series exploring cultural artifacts through hundreds of NFT pairings of everyday objects that will be capped with one amalgamation of all 1,000 images.


If resale royalties become standard in the industry, he said, NFTs could be a windfall for artists. That is partly why he thinks artists now are pushing into NFTs faster than galleries or collectors. “I think it’ll come down to the artists to lead the galleries into this space,” he said.

Soaring prices haven’t persuaded everyone that this highly volatile market is a good bet. Overall, NFT sales dropped 20%, to $37.2 million, in the past 10 days, according to industry tracker, though it isn’t clear how much of the drop was NFT art compared with other tokenized offerings, such as sports clips or virtual cats. The art world, unlike crypto-collectibles, is seasonal, and tentpole auctions at the major houses planned for the next couple months will feature NFT art, which could affect the medium’s overall momentum.

Comedian and actor John Cleese poked fun at the new medium by auctioning his NFT doodle of the Brooklyn Bridge, ...

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