Decoded: NFTs And The Art World
Another day, another non-fungible token (NFT) — so goes the story of the art world in 2021 thus far. A year of working, socializing, and entertaining ourselves online seems to have rendered the prospect of collecting virtual assets a logical next step, rather than the cognitive leap it might have seemed to many pre-pandemic.
NFTs are not new, but have broken into mainstream consciousness through a virtuous circle catalyzed by an (un)healthy dose of celebrity fanfare, the embrace of contemporary artists, and speculative tech dollars. Most recently, a work by street artist Banksy was burned and turned into an NFT that sold for $380,000, the inaugural digital art auction by Christie’s saw a Beeple collage sell for $69 million, and Beijing’s UCCA Center for Contemporary Art has announced the world’s first major crypto art exhibition.
Beyond the art world, NFTs include, well, virtually everything: a LeBron James dunk, Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, and Lindsay Lohan’s “Lightning” images.
But what exactly are NFTs, where did they come from, and why do they matter for the art world?
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