The art market and its community are going through rapid changes to keep up with the fast pace of the development of new technologies. The adoption of blockchain marked a new era in the art market, as the new technology continues to bring new experiences to artists, collectors, and art galleries.
The technology of Non-fungible tokens (NFT) bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds by providing a solution that preserves the authenticity and ownership of art in the digital space. It has also transformed the process of collecting and the storage of artwork. In the first half of 2021 alone, NFT sales surged to $2.5 billion in value and invited people to reconsider how new technologies can reshape the current art landscape.
While being on the pulse of current trends, Blockchain Lab ‘SUPER HOW?’ has joined forces with art galleries to introduce the superhow.ART platform, bringing the art community their first and most unique NFT auction: a genuine oil painting, “Head with Legs,” by one of the greatest Russian surrealist artists, Oleg Tselkov, will be auctioned with a corresponding NFT.
By bringing fine art to the metaverse of crypto, the project aims to extract the essence of NFTs. By leaving the current NFT rush aside, the project encourages the art community to invest in an authentic, genuine, and valuable piece of art.
The Future of Art
NFTs are located on the Ethereum blockchain. Blockchain, in its essence, empowers the community and decentralization. It has the potential to alter power dynamics in the consolidated art market and bring a new level of transparency.
"We will always need experts for proof of authenticity, provenance, valuation, yet new technologies will help and automate the processes, bring much more transparency, social relations, social acceptance,"
reassured Vytautas Kašėta, CEO of superhow.ART.
NFTs can be a digitized version of a physical collector’s item. As fine art is an investment, proper storage is a mandatory but, at times, challenging task.
Special storage requirements must be met to properly preserve valuable artwork, taking unique lightning, humidity, and temperature into consideration. In this way, NFT technology could serve as a workaround to owning paintings that reside in museums.
"The current developments in the art market are changing and affecting artists, managers, galleries, experts, and investors, as well as the art itself,"
NFTs may have one or multiple owners, depending on contract executions and the varied agreements in a contract. Whoever buys an artwork becomes its rightful owner.
Using NFT technology, ownership can be easily proven and verified, the provenance and authenticity of the painting can then also be verified instantly, essentially making the art market fraud-proof.
Kašėta believes that this is a significant time for galleries and art investors to get on top of technological advancements in order to bring new ideas to the masses, and create hybrid solutions that bridge the physical with the digital.
"When you tokenize fine art, you make it accessible to many more people by implementing the partial ownership concepts used in superhow.ART. All this is making a huge impact on art investors. They need to evolve together with the market and become more flexible and liberal if they want to keep their positions,"
The Unique Auction
The superhow.ART auction will open on November 5th, 2021, lasting for a week. The organizers of this unique auction will facilitate a competition of the art community by introducing two bidding sides: ‘Whales’ and ‘Shrimps.’ This will open the auction to both major and minor bidders to see who has more power.
Bids will be placed online on the superhow.ART website. In order to be able to bid for the art piece, bidders need only be connected to a MetaMask wallet. There is no minimum value for the painting, and there is no reserve price for the auction.
To win, Whales need to outbid all previous bids. All bids placed by the Shrimp collective are accumulated into a pool, which competes with the Whale’s bid. If a Whale wins, they receive the actual painting, and the corresponding NFT is assigned to them.
If the Shrimp win, the painting remains in the gallery but will become co-owned. An NFT for the artwork will be split into multiple parts, corresponding to the individual Shrimps’ bids and assigned to their wallet addresses.
If the Shrimps decide to unite and give their shares to one person, thereby reaching 75% of the entire bid, that Shrimp can then claim the painting and take physical ownership.
Security of the Auction
The organizers have implemented top-notch methods to secure the entire auction process. The auction system is running on the Ethereum blockchain using smart contracts to shield against malicious activities.
All transactions will be signed using a private key. These transactions can be validated on the Ethereum main network and then finalized by the nodes to complete a transaction or payment.
Aside from security, the auction ensures the anonymity of all participants as there is no backend on the auction system, meaning that user data will not be stored. Bidders will not be required to provide first or last names and every transaction will use wallets and a smart contract to communicate, thereby preventing any potential personal data leaks.
After winning the auction, the prevailing Whale will prove their identity simply by interacting with the smart contract as proof of their ownership.