A bubble or a new paradigm? How traditional art circles view sky-high NFT artworks

Facing the raging NFT art market, what does the traditional art circle look like?

Author | Zikuan

On August 21, the “NFT International Observation” salon co-organized by Dayuntang, Rivvoo Lab, Caijingxin and Blockchain Branch of China Software Industry Association was held in Beijing 798 Art District. Cai Wanlin, a well-known artist, collector, and founder of Yiku.com, Lin Song, deputy secretary-general of Beijing Gallery Association, and Xie Mu, vice president of ArtPro, gave their opinions on the current phenomenon of the hot NFT market.

Is “Everydays. The first 5000 days” worth $70 million?

“Everydays. The first 5000 days”, auctioned by the British auction platform Christie’s, is the first NFT-based artwork sold by a world-renowned auction platform. It was sold at a price of nearly 70 million U.S. dollars. It is the third highest auctioned work by a living artist. In this regard, even the author Beeple himself feels “unbelievable and full of bubbles.”

A bubble or a new paradigm? How traditional art circles view sky-high NFT artworks

“Everydays. The first 5000 days” looks like a mosaic, but it is not easy to come by. The author Beeple has been creating a digital picture every day since May 1, 2007, for 13 and a half years without interruption. Many people are impressed by Beeple’s persistence. But Xie Mu, vice president of ArtPro, said that as a calligraphy and painting professional, it is normal to create a work every day. Qi Baishi also often paints three pictures a day.

In Xie Mu’s view, Beeple’s works are a bit monotonous, mainly relying on bright colors and visual impact to attract people. It’s not particularly good. Many of Beeple’s works express time issues, space issues, and philosophical issues. They are all works that have existed in the long history of history, but that he expresses them in a computer-made way.

However, Xie Mu also said that she has seen some NFT works, and many of the NFT works have excellent themes and color schemes.

Lin Song, deputy secretary general of the Beijing Gallery Association, believes that Beeple is a well-known figure in the industry and has many fans. In the field of art auctions, it is very common for auction prices to exceed the range expected by ordinary people. It shouldn’t be a surprise that other NFT works of art will be sold at sky-high prices in the future. There must be a reason.

Why are encrypted punk avatar-type NFTs so popular?

If Beeple’s paintings are sold at sky-high prices, there is a reason for them, then CryptoPunks has no sense of art at all. What is the reason for selling millions of dollars?

A bubble or a new paradigm? How traditional art circles view sky-high NFT artworks

Cai Wanlin believes: “The collection world has the logic of the collection world, and cryptopunk is no exception.”

Cai Wanlin analyzed that, firstly, it is the consumption power of the audience of the works; secondly, whether the works of art can meet certain needs of the audience, especially the spiritual needs; and finally, whether the works of art are scarce. If it is extremely scarce and the audience competes for it, for fear of not getting it, this work will be fired to a sky-high price. This sky-high price looks incredible in the eyes of the general public, but it is worthwhile in the eyes of bidders. From a deep perspective, the cryptopunk avatar is in line with these three market elements.

Lin Song said that what is tested by market practice will settle down and may become a part of art history. For example, if the relevant authorization is obtained, a “cryptopunk avatar painting exhibition” in a place where the cryptocurrency crowd is concentrated may also be successful. The art circle does not say that Yangchun Baixue is high-level, and lower-level people are inferior, which is not good. It can only say that it is good to meet the needs of the corresponding group of audiences. 

But Cai Wanlin also pointed out that there is a serious phenomenon of blindly catering to and following the trend in the field of NFT creation. Just guess what you like and do what you like. This is wrong. ‍‍This work sold very quickly, and a large number of people imitated it, which lost the original intention of the creator. The market wants to see more creative original art, and creators must follow their hearts.

Cai Wanlin believes that the current combination of Chinese traditional culture and art and NFT is far from enough. This is a blue ocean that is worth exploring. At the same time, for commercial brands, NFT collections are also a way of promotion and realization.


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