NFT Art Auction Observation: Return to rationality and original heart in the ups and downs

I believe history will always remember 2021. This year, encryption artist Beeple’s NFT works were sold at Christie’s at sky-high prices, making NFT popular all over the world overnight, not only sweeping the art field, but also entering the mainstream vision and becoming a hot topic in the society.

Last week, Christie’s announced that Beeple would bring his first physical work “Human One (Human One)” to the Christie’s auction again, and it will be shot on the evening of November 9th in New York. Given that this auction will be the first return of Beetle after “Every Day: First 5000 Days”, it is estimated that it will attract more than 15 million U.S. dollars of bids, and artists and auction houses have received unprecedented attention and pressure. Noah Davis, head of digital art and online sales at Christie’s, said that after a record-breaking auction, “any artist will face pressure to surpass himself”.

There is no reason to be under pressure. After Beeple, many large traditional auction houses (Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips) have quickly accepted NFT art transactions and unearthed more collectible NFT works for collectors to purchase. So far, four of the top ten high-priced NFT works have been sold through traditional auction houses, which shows that even in this most advanced and cutting-edge technology field, the reputation of traditional platforms is still very important for sellers.

However, many of the currently hot encrypted artworks have reached sky-high prices. When more new buyers want to flock in, will their buying preferences change? In the face of the continuously volatile NFT market, are artists and auction houses still full of confidence? Entering this year’s autumn auction season, perhaps we can get a glimpse of where the wind on the NFT art auction market is blowing.

NFT Art Auction Observation: Return to rationality and original heart in the ups and downs

NFT artist Andreas Ivan collaborated with the auction house for the first time, exhibiting 16 “Smoochies” created by him. Source: Poly Hong Kong

Back to rationality: new artists’ works at reasonable prices are popular

At the end of May and beginning of June this year, Shanghai held the first Global NFT Encrypted Art Exhibition, presenting outstanding works by 27 top domestic and foreign digital artists. In the list of artists who are as famous as Beeple and Pak, the name of artist Andreas Ivan is on the list. In the middle of this year, Singapore’s “Business Times” selected the top 5 millennial Asian crypto artists in terms of income, and Andreas Ivan, a rising star, is also on this list.

The name Andreas Ivan may not be familiar to most domestic audiences, but he is no stranger to China. In fact, Russian and Mauritian Andreas was born in Russia but has worked in China for a long time. He is the co-founder of a creative agency in Beijing. He revealed to the 21st Century Business Herald reporter that at first he started NFT creation through the introduction of a friend TOOMUCHLAG who started playing NFT very early. He is still very grateful for this unintentional experience, making him a witness to this historical moment. Part. “It was my friend who shared with me the art revolution that was emerging at the time that gave me the opportunity to enter the market in its early stages of development.”

Fortunately, Andreas NFT first pieces of work, a section called “Dali Dream” is released after a short animation loop in order to (1.66Eth Ethernet currency , or about 49,000 yuan) price to sell the NFT collectors Matrix. Matrix is ​​known as a well-known collector who is good at discovering blue-chip artists in the circle, and Andreas was quickly regarded as a promising new star and received wide attention from the industry. And this work is currently being sold at an amazingly high price of 22Eth (about 650,000 yuan) in the secondary market.

Similar to digital art works such as CryptoPunks and the Boring Ape Club (BAYC), Andreas’s most influential work is also a surreal figure living in the meta-universe named “Smoochies”. The Smoochies series is composed of cute 3D cartoon characters, with plump lips that look like they are ready to kiss. Each one has a carefully rendered appearance (such as images of Audrey Hepburn, Harry Potter and Bruce Lee), and has its own name and special story setting. The origin of the creation of the Smoochies series can be traced back to 2016. Since Andreas’s mother lived in Mauritius thousands of miles away from him, he began to create “This Love Letter to Mother”. He told reporters: “Every time I feel sad, my mother will walk to me, kiss my forehead and tell me that everything will be fine. Her lips are exactly the shape of the lips of Smoochies.”

Since Andreas has stated that only 100 Smoochies will be launched in his creative career, after the first 36 Smoochies were launched at the beginning of this year, they were sold on the Ethereum blockchain platform at a record-breaking price , becoming the highest sales record in Asia at the time. NFT series. Last month, Poly Hong Kong Auctions announced the holding of the first NFT special exhibition and online auction, of which the personal special part is “Smoochies: MÆTHERIAL” by Andreas. He created 16 Smoochies again for this exhibition, and the members of the Smoochies series have reached 52. This exhibition also printed 8 physical prints for each Smoochies for the first time, and all the physical prints were sold out shortly after the opening. Its NFT works will be open for bidding from November 8th to 12th.

But Andreas’s popularity is not only dependent on “limited supply” or a bonus of luck. According to the latest Hiscox online art transaction report released in 2021, NFT art collectors have shifted from following the trend of buying high-priced works to more rationally exploring new crypto artists with reasonable prices and potential for appreciation. The report mentioned: “Perhaps critics will think that art itself is insignificant, but the combination of uniqueness, ownership, gamification, and storytelling is driving a new generation of collectors and investors to trade.”

The explosive NFT boom at the beginning of this year allowed people to pay attention to the works of a few famous artists, such as Beeple and Pak. Later, their works were also fired at sky-high prices, which were higher than most people can afford. Therefore, as people now gradually return to the essence of NFT artwork as digital artwork empowered by technology, those “code generation art” with personality and story connotation (such as Crypto Punks and Smoochies) will be more effective in the long run. Arouse the interest of collectors.

Auction promotion: high participation supplemented by technical blessing

At the beginning of this year, NFT officially entered the traditional auction industry. However, in order to take advantage of the trend, most of the auction houses basically sell hot-selling second-hand NFTs, and seldom really participate in them to explore the artistic value of NFTs. And as the needs of collectors have returned to a more rational appreciation of art from the blind pursuit of lively purchases, the auction house also simply provided popular lots and a system for digital currency transactions from the beginning, and gradually returned to finding long-term investments for collectors. Collect valuable digital artwork.

Poly Hong Kong recently announced that it will jointly hold the first NFT special exhibition and online auction with The Authority, which is an official announcement of Poly Hong Kong’s participation in the NFT art auction team. Whether it’s Andreas’s solo show or the “Are you BORED or NOT?” group exhibition of digital artists, Poly Hong Kong has been highly involved since the beginning of the selection of artists. Together with the artists, they searched for valuable angles, discussed curatorial matters, and brought a series of NFT works tailor-made for the exhibition. The level of investment was really high.

A high degree of investment stems from full confidence. Although the overall trend of the NFT art trading market is still fluctuating recently, Zhang Yixiu, general manager of Poly Hong Kong Auctions Co., Ltd., is still very optimistic about the prospects of NFT art. He told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter: “NFT art is a new blue ocean, so both artists and collectors have high expectations. Although it is indeed very different from the traditional art field, it has many limitations. (The market) is confused about the nature of its digitalization, but I believe this will be gradually overcome with the development of technology. Like ten years ago, we did not know the development of smart phones today, so I am very confident in the future prospects.”

Although in the eyes of most people, NFT starts with elements such as blockchain and digital currency, and seems to be a new product of “another dimension”. But for auction houses, NFT art is essentially just an emerging art type with technical bonuses. Like other art categories, there is no need to overemphasize its investment value. He pointed out: “This emerging art field is like any type of investment, and it is complementary to the investment of funds. It is just that NFT art is driven by cryptocurrency and blockchain, and it will not produce traditional art about authenticity or ownership. Controversy, so no matter what stage of the collectors can directly invest without burden. I don’t think NFT art is too complicated.”

According to Zhang Yixiu, pricing for NFT artworks is actually similar to general pricing rules for artworks. It still uses the artist’s experience and the work itself, plus the level of past prices as a reference. After the pricing is completed, the digital form of the NFT art itself can be used to formulate propaganda and promotion strategies that are more understandable to collectors. He told reporters: “In this exhibition, we have exhibited prints for the artist’s solo exhibition of digital works. On the one hand, we hope that the collectors will be able to cut through from the perspective of physical collection, and on the other hand, it can also make collectors look forward to the future NFT. Art online auction.”

The Authority, an art and cultural technology incubation platform, has long focused on the promotion of new media art and blockchain art. As the technology partner of Poly Hong Kong’s first NFT exhibition, its founder, Kangqiao Sun, pointed out the traditional auction’s “resources” for technology companies in the blockchain field. Replenishment” demand. He told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter: “A highly developed civilization will achieve a high degree of virtualization and digitization. We are about to usher in a future dominated by digital assets. The high integration of virtual and reality in the future means that virtual assets must be in the future society. Grant equity and be injected into the value equal to or exceeding the value of the entity’s assets.”

He emphasized that in the future large-scale commercial use of NFTs will blossom everywhere, but in the current planning of traditional auctions for NFTs, many experts in auction houses know art very well but do not necessarily understand the trends of the blockchain or crypto market. Therefore, “I hope this time The cooperation will bring a positive impact to the Asian NFT art market and enhance the status of blockchain technology and digital art in the art world.”

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