Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Full text overview

  • Traditional galleries are mainly for-profit professional galleries, which maintain operating costs by earning commissions and sell artworks to high net worth individuals.
  • In the NFT era, virtual galleries came into being, which brought a new paradigm of NFT operation and viewing in terms of immersion, interactivity, editability, finance, and aesthetics.
  • Returning to the first principles, we believe that virtual galleries are a territory that NFTs cannot ignore. When we already have a lot of NFTs to express ourselves, why don’t we need a virtual gallery for our souls to live in?

In the process of human civilization, the form of art is constantly changing with the development of technology. From the Paleolithic era, humans used simple tools to describe life and visions of the future on rock walls, to the emergence of computer-generated art, in the iteration of creators’ productivity tools, new art forms will inevitably bring brand new Sensory experience, and changes in the way works are presented.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

左:The Cave of Altamira  右:everydays – december 2019, Beeple

With the hot NFT market, we also need to find a new way to display digital native artworks, so NFT galleries came into being. This article will walk through traditional galleries slowly, explore whether virtual galleries are a new value depression, and explain in detail the 4 existing types of NFT galleries.

traditional gallery narrative

When we talk about a gallery in the traditional sense, we’re usually describing an aesthetically pleasing space that showcases its owner’s artistic tastes and collections. The works of most artists will reach collectors through these large and small commercial galleries.

A professional gallery actively selects artists and maintains operations through revenue from art sales and exhibitions. As agents, galleries have the responsibility of selecting artists for the public and collectors, and their decisions will change with market trends.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Generally speaking, traditional galleries will have special agents and channels to find high-end customers, such as private banking customers, luxury members, etc., and arrange exhibitions in offline exhibition halls, expand the popularity of artists, plan exhibitions, sell works, handle insurance, etc. Conclude art transactions and guide customers to follow-up long-term investment in art. Most commercial gallery commissions are between 20% – 60% of the retail price of an artwork, and it’s not uncommon for reputable galleries to charge 50%. When the artwork is sold, the gallery then pays the artist.

A successful gallery might net about 15% of total revenue, for a neighborhood gallery selling about $250,000 worth of art to break even, and in a large city (excluding New York and Los Angeles) it would require flipping through. times to achieve a balance of payments.

Epidemic · Change · Opportunity

About 90% of the world’s cultural and arts organizations have been affected by the pandemic over the past two years, with 93% of galleries closed for an average of 10 weeks in the first half of 2020, a 36% drop in sales, and an annual turnover of between $250,000 and $500,000 Smaller galleries in between were the hardest hit, with sales falling by as much as 47%.

In order to seek new development and opportunities, from top museums to private galleries, they have begun to experiment with digital transformation. In just two years, the sales of art online transactions have grown from $6 billion in 2019 to $12.4 billion in 2020, accounting for 25% of the full-year market share in 2020, and there is a continuing upward trend.

Although the opportunity to purchase works in person is relatively reduced, 66% of the collectors surveyed said that the epidemic has increased their interest in collecting, and 32% of collectors said their interest in collecting has grown significantly. In Artsy’s 2021 annual report, 83% of people say they have purchased art online, a figure that goes as high as 91% among the new generation of collectors.

Notably, as many as 16% of the younger generation of collectors appear to be happy to buy works over $1 million online, with 30% of buyers using social media platforms such as Instagram to buy art in the first half of 2020. Now more than ever, galleries need to consider the opportunities that the online marketplace presents to galleries and consider the diverse needs of a new generation of collectors.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

2013-2022 Trends in Online Art Sales

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

The price range ratio of works traded online and offline

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

The ratio of transaction frequency between online and offline transactions at different prices

As traditional galleries look for new opportunities on the internet, it’s not hard to imagine virtual galleries and online auctions continuing to grow and transitioning into the realm of NFT collecting.

Creator’s Moon and Sixpence

It is not difficult for art lovers to find that although the sound of satirizing NFTs as cultural Ponzi schemes is very harsh, traditional artists and creators are constantly pouring into this field, scrambling to release their own NFT works.

  • Why do artists want to issue their own NFTs?

Traditional artists typically only earn income through private/public sponsorship and the sale of their work, and they often have to make trade-offs between self-expression and financial income. Artists run the risk of the market not appreciating their artwork if they create it entirely in accordance with their free will.

NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is of great significance to creators. Through blockchain technology, the relationship between works, authors, and collectors becomes clear and clear: works can be traced back to the source, and authors receive royalties through each transaction ( Typically 5-10% of each transaction), collectors get proof of ownership. Due to the monetization of the work, dissemination is naturally enhanced.

  • Ownership of work

“Digital art is art, and an artist’s royalty will never be deprived of culture.” – Superchief NFT

Since ancient times, artists have never stopped fighting for the ownership of works. From the very beginning, I found a gallery agent, and then I expanded the channel myself. Contracts limit the territory where works can be sold, but they cannot limit people’s desire for free trade. The emergence of NFTs has brought about a reshaping of relationships, breaking traditional role assignments/definitions.

To a certain extent, the market does solve the long-standing problem of not being fairly compensated for an artist’s work, and the structure of NFT sales cuts out the middlemen such as galleries, institutions, etc. that usually control sales from start to finish. However, at present, the rights standard of NFT is still in a very early stage, and there is no clear definition of standardization for NFT personal use rights, secondary creation licenses, and commercialization rights. At the same time, the development of machine-readable NFT rights standards in the future is also something worth looking forward to.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Sturtevant Warhol Diptych, Christie’s

  • Entry of traditional platforms

Capital is chasing profit. With the vigorous development of the NFT market, mainstream art-related portals have added NFT options. Even the collection website 1stBids has opened an NFT transaction portal to provide non-crypto native 1stDibs collectors with purchase channels . Currently, the platform allows vetted creators and artists to autonomously upload their work, mint it for sale on 1stDibs. The secondary market feature allows any NFT owner who purchased through 1stDibs to list and sell works on the platform.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Auction of Girl with balloon, Banksy

  • Public and private interests of artworks

Additionally, artists publishing NFT works help serve both public domain and private collectors. The public interest in art is that anyone can appreciate a great work of art even if they didn’t create or own it. Broadly speaking, this is also why public and private museums exist. In most cases, the public interest brought by a work of art even far outweighs the private interest.

In traditional art, the private interests of collectors and public interests are often opposed – physical works can only appear in one place at a time, and you can’t make paintings hanging in your home for everyone to appreciate. However, art also has public interests. Neither the artist nor the collector, to give the most common example, almost no one would dislike Van Gogh’s starry sky and Mona Lisa’s smile, but none of us own them. Broadly speaking, this is why public and private museums exist.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

The Starry Night Over The Rhone, 1888 by Vincent Van Gogh

In many cases, public interest may far outweigh private interest in terms of social value, at least so far we have been unable to find a way to quantify the public interest in art. Artists declare their positions or criticize things through their works, and people with the same magnetic field are also gathered together because of their works, and the “consensus” is thus reached, more or less.

NFTs offer a very superior model that maximizes both private and public interests. The first and most obvious is that NFTs separate ownership and identity from display. The holder of BAYC has the identity, the ownership, the private interest of the art connoisseur, and the proof of vision and subsequent appreciation, yet at the same time, everyone can enjoy and watch it.

Sometimes non-NFT people, maybe right click save at this stage when people freak out. “But why would you pay so much for it if everyone else can see it?” But people don’t want to hide their art collections. In this case, NFTs provide a model that achieves both private and public interests:

  • Everyone knows who the collector of a certain NFT is, but they don’t need to wait until the collector gets old to donate the work to the museum to watch it, and the creator gets more exposure as a result.
  • Thanks to the composability of NFTs, a work can be used and viewed in many different places, and the public benefit can be achieved without paying the cost of building a physical museum .


Gallery Perrotin

  • Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

“Vicky and petty collectors let art sleep in Freeport warehouses, great collectors build museums and galleries for the public good.” — Twitter @punk6529

NFT gallery landscape

Museum with almost no material cost

Virtual galleries have abandoned the high costs of offline galleries, such as installation, transportation, and rent, which facilitates the acceptance of more emerging art forms, and brings easy interactivity through the Internet and hardware devices. Watching exhibitions and socializing with friends from all over the world in the Metaverse across physical distance is no longer a beautiful vision that cannot be realized under the epidemic.

How does the NFT gallery achieve our needs?

Game engines such as Unity and Unreal are the main tool kits for realizing immersive digital experiences, and the modeling of scenes needs to rely on other 3D software. Finally, the platform captures NFT information from on-chain contracts to allow curators to display collections . To achieve the best possible experience in the virtual gallery, it is also inseparable from the help of real-time renderers and physics engines, the platform’s support for new hardware such as VR\AR\MR, and the optimization of interaction design.


Physical art is seeking online exhibition channels, and crypto native digital art is going offline. Let’s go back to the traditional definition of a gallery: a space that showcases the taste of the owner and sells works for the artist . When the boundaries between virtual and real are gradually blurring, do people also need a cyberspace gallery to display their NFT collections?

The author roughly divides “virtual galleries” with exhibition attributes into the following four categories:

  • AR gallery combined with offline
  • Online pure virtual 3D gallery space
  • A gallery based on virtual land in the Metaverse
  • The official self-built virtual 3D exhibition hall of traditional museums/art galleries/institutions

In addition, the content screening platform representing the role of “curator” is likely to build its own 3D gallery in the future, so the author divides it into a separate category.

a) AR, offline combination


    Illust Space:

    A global AR (Augmented Reality) infrastructure service provider that allows users to place and interact with NFTs on real-world maps, and also provides NFT trading platforms. There are currently many NFTs placed in North America.



    Cooperate with big IP officials such as Marvel, Disney, and Pixar to launch 3D models and related comic series NFTs. The goal is to bring pop culture into the digital world through interactive experience, and interact with your favorite characters in AR. ECOMI is currently paying for US dollars through fiat currency exchange Gem purchases collectibles, the more Gems a user buys, the more OMI tokens are destroyed.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

b ) Pure virtual gallery


    VR gallery, featuring immersive art experience and easy-to-use interactive features. Currently, it can be accessed on mobile terminals and VR devices, and supports 2D+3D NFTs.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality



    Four free gallery templates are provided, and the paid gallery prototypes are designed by the creators themselves.Holder’s exclusive gallery space is provided, and it is possible to develop Socialfi.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality



    An immersive 3D NFT space platform that combines museums, galleries, and artists to provide high-quality sensory experience and real-time social functions through a game engine. Users can purchase Mona spaces on Opensea, or they can use any 3D modeling software to create spaces, package them in Unity, and upload them to the platform for casting. In the future, a VR device interface will be provided, which has the potential to be combined with games.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

NeonGlitch86 & 78Special,Neon City Streets

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Archonomous, Cloud Agora



The artist-centric Curation platform and partnering with industry-leading artists to create collectibles that consumers can own and use in the virtual world.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Artur De Menezes – ‘Sugar’ Pill (2022).



    Users can watch immersive art exhibitions in the AR gallery, interact with immortal 3D pet NFTs, plant trees (the team will plant a real tree for each tree in Realm), and use Godot open source games on Ethereum L1 or L2 The engine builds its own Metaverse. Art galleries are only part of the function.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality



    A pure VR gallery, where users can create their own VR works and add them to the gallery in virtual reality, is currently in beta.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

c ) Metaverse has NFT galleries in the platform, the disadvantages and advantages are also very obvious – take Crypto Voxels as an example, although the difficulty of building a virtual gallery is relatively low and the plot is relatively cheap, the Voxels model is destined to be unable to achieve some spatial complex sensory experience.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

d ) Exploration of traditional museums/art galleries in the virtual world

Compared with Crypto native NFT galleries, traditional museums and galleries face more problems, they need to remodel or scan the original work, and then place it in the virtual space. Therefore, the virtual version of traditional galleries is more used for popular science and education, while commercial galleries or auction houses hope to carry out new commercial activities.

  • Washington Historical Museum


    National museum of natural history virtual tour

  • Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality
  • Sotheby’s auction house in decentraland


  • Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality
  • The art discovery platform Artsy has developed the “View in Room” AR augmented reality function in the APP. Users can experience the effect of artworks in real space through the APP.


  • Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

e ) Curatorial platform

Provide screening and highlight the taste of planners, and the quality of content is relatively guaranteed.

  • Art block:

An Ethereum-based generative art platform, where the curated series is expensive.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

entretiempos by Marcelo Soria, Artblock Curated Collection 

  • Foundation:

An invitation-only community focused on high-quality creativity and art, using automatic limited-time auction sales. Most of the art varieties on the platform are carefully curated and professional artwork NFTs are generated, including music and memes.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality


The NFT online publishing house based on Ethereum, selects the works of digital artists after screening the artists, and assumes the role of curator. Some NFTs on the website are a license to enter the 3D animation space created by the creator, not the space itself.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality


At present, it is mainly used as a display platform for artist portfolios. The beta version has just been launched, and can only be accessed through links created by selected artists.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Ashtar Command, Monochrome Portrait phtograohy

  • :

At present, the largest decentralized NFT encrypted digital art trading platform in Asia has certain requirements for resident artists.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Although the presentation forms of the above virtual galleries are different, they can be divided into the following types according to their functions:

  1. Artist’s private work exhibition/portfolio public display space
  2. A private space that allows collectors/blue-chip NFT holders to display their collections, show artistic taste or satisfy their show-off psychology
  3. Curator/Curator A platform for publishing/displaying artists’ works after integrating them, generally of a certain commercial nature
  4. A social virtual space for events and parties
  5. Educational museum/professional themed galleries

all about people and humanity

What are we looking at when we are browsing the gallery? Why do we need galleries and museums?

Looking for inspiration / emptying our brains / taking selfies / just passing by… Countless factors have brought us into offline art galleries. Everyone sees something different in the gallery, a place where people relax, learn art, develop aesthetics, and inspire creativity, or to collect and enjoy a range of gallery events.

a) Aesthetic experience

People do not need professional art studies, and they instinctively pursue art and beauty. Apple’s design aesthetics have brought huge commercial benefits. The function of clothes is to keep out the cold and cover the body, but people will add design to fabrics to form fashion. Arty is only part of it, aesthetics and design invisibly influence how people think and feel, make us feel fun and satisfied with products, and determine our long-term attitudes toward products and even people.

b) curiosity

Curiosity and thirst for knowledge is another attribute inscribed in human bones. There is evidence of a wider public awareness of the civic role of museums as educators and knowledge institutions, which has translated into their value during the pandemic:

“They’re looking for stuff from reliable sources, so they don’t want anything that can be found online, they don’t necessarily want more from entertainment sources, they really want, they’re looking for what they think has educational value things, because they come from museum institutions.” – Noehrer

Back to the business part: who is buying art?

  • According to US trust, about one-fifth of high-net-worth individuals choose to collect art, and the richest are more likely to use art to accumulate wealth and diversify their investments. 63% of buyers’ households have a bachelor’s degree or above.
  • A growing number of new generation collectors are entering the art collecting market, with UBS reporting that 30% of new generation collectors will spend more than $1 million in 2020 (compared with 17% of baby boomers). They generally prefer to do their own research, rely on their own judgement rather than traditional agencies to make purchasing decisions, and at the same time, they are more receptive to online showrooms.
  • In 2020, 72% of art purchases came from private collectors, while museums, private institutions, art consultants/specialists and interior designers accounted for just 28% of all purchases.


  • Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Who is collecting NFTs?

According to data from NFT transaction tracking website, as of 2021, about 28.6 million wallets are trading NFTs, NFT sales have grown 131 times between 2020 and 2021, and collectibles are among the most popular NFTs form.

new entrant

  • About 44% of all bidders in Sotheby’s 2021 NFT auctions are first-time bidders, while 80% of all NFT bidders are newcomers. Sotheby’s said in its year-end report that more than half of those who bought NFTs were under the age of 40.


  • According to Morning Consult research, millennials are the group most likely to participate in NFTs, and they are three times more likely to buy and sell these assets than their Gen Z counterparts.
  • The research also shows that general interest in NFTs is growing based on a love of “collecting.” About one-third of U.S. adults say they collect some form of physical object as a hobby.


  • Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

giant whale

  • According to the Financial Times and Chainalysis, there are around 360,000 NFT owners holding around $2.7 million in NFTs. However, around 9% of the group as a whole is responsible for around 80% of the market value. This suggests that most of the value of NFTs belongs to some of the whales currently holding the most expensive NFTs.

Why do people buy art?

According to a 2021 Artsy report, 67% of collectors buy art out of a passion for collecting, and 58% are looking to buy art for decoration. 47% of purchases were motivated by the desire to support an artist, 46% were motivated by art, and 42% of collectors said their purchase was an investment decision.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Why do people buy art NFTs?

Not only is the NFT craze accompanying crypto making people FOMO, but the K-shaped recovery of global inflation and consumption following the epidemic has also made collectors begin to consider whether art NFTs can be invested in similar to physical artworks. Properties of the asset.

a) Art collectors look cool

Before doing something because I really want to do it, or just because it looks cool? Conformity and lack of independent thinking are very noticeable phenomena among NFT collectors. When one person starts clapping, a group starts clapping.In this market, collectors/giant whales with discerning taste are more likely to set off huge waves in the market.

b) Sociability – social, circle culture

Socialization is an evolved mechanism. In ancient times, it was difficult for an individual to resist natural disasters and find food alone, so they needed to establish cooperative relationships with others , exchange information and resources with each other, and work together to improve themselves and future generations. odds of survival. As human civilization develops, the desire to connect with other people remains the most powerful human motivation, although the ways and requirements of social interaction continue to change. NFTs can really be thought of as a ticket to a circle of cool people.

c) Identity and belongingness

We unconsciously pursue trends and so-called “decent” lifestyles, and most of us cannot escape the influence of “ideology”.

After purchasing NFT works, people seem to put on a label – xxx holder. In a sense, it does bring some sense of identity and belonging to lonely people surfing the web.

d) The sense of ownership, the joy of collecting, the sense of security and the instinct

There are many reasons to collect. Some do it for pleasure; others to learn more about an object; others seek status or prestige; many do it to show loyalty to something . Because of the fear of being forgotten, people hope that others can find themselves at any time, and try to define the value of self-existence through other frames of reference.

For collectors, the value of their collection is not money but emotion. Collecting can provide psychological safety by filling in a part of one’s self that feels missing or meaningless. In addition, people need to have “objects of desire” to gain ownership and a sense of control.

e) Investment properties

Who hasn’t thought they’d win the lottery? There will never be a shortage of instant rich stories in this circle, and I don’t need to write them.

Bet on an artist you admire and prove your vision is cool after the bull and bear rotation.

future possibility

Combination of physical gallery/offline application scenarios and online

a) Since we can virtualize traditional galleries, why can’t we make NFT galleries physical?


    Superchief Gallery:

    Opened the world’s first physical NFT gallery in New York, leading NFT works from virtual to reality.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Superchief gallery


    Seattle NFT Museum (SNFTM):

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality


b) The possibility of combining immersive exhibitions and NFTs

Through the art exhibition of the physical exhibition, offline audiences can interact with generative art in real time on the spot. Moreover, immersive art generally has a strong visual impact, which is in line with NFT consumer preferences.

Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Ouchhh Studio

c) The free curatorial space platform may also develop a form of paid listing in the future. Artists can find that such platforms can make profits by charging galleries monthly fees

What are the similarities and differences between virtual galleries and physical galleries?

common ground

  • The importance of space: The architecture and interior design of a gallery is also a part of the gallery itself, whether it is a virtual or physical gallery, to understand the feeling conveyed by the space is also part of the experience of visiting the gallery.
  • Viewing fluency and comfort: Many people have had a moment when they are at a loss as to what the artist wants to express when viewing an exhibition, so a good viewing guide, guide, and explanation will greatly improve the viewing comfort.
  • It also has asset attributes: At present, virtual galleries often exist in the form of NFTs, and are also endowed with artistic and community attributes. They also have asset storage and appreciation expectations.


    MIHO Museum Cherry Blossom Season

  • Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality


  • In the traditional gallery industry, artists have to share the benefits with galleries, and there is no discussion about whether NFT creators need to pay curators/online galleries. Still, artists in the crypto world are free, and no one can stop them from building a virtual gallery for themselves.
  • Genius Loci means that each place has its own independent characteristics in line with the current environment, history, culture, land, and theme, so as to present visitors with different spiritual experiences. The most unfortunate point of pure virtual galleries is that they cannot have “Context”, and galleries built in the Metaverse do have some advantages in this regard.
  • The design of the virtual gallery is no longer limited by space and construction, and can fully express the owner’s aesthetics and spirit.

The indisputable advantages of virtual galleries can be summarized as follows:

  • Low cost: Save the cost of rent, exhibition, operation personnel, etc., so that ordinary people can also own galleries and experience the fun of art collection
  • Convenient access: not limited by time and space, bringing a high-quality aesthetic experience
  • Open: Maximize public and private interests, and have educational attributes, which can provide online teaching scenarios for art/design courses
  • Archive: The same series of NFT works by artists can be presented more systematically
  • Possibilities: Able to break through the boundaries of imagination and create scenes and spatial experiences that are difficult to present in the real world


    Last but not least


Virtual Gallery: The border between dream and reality

Suspense Before The Performance by Charles Billich

While writing this article, I visited a private gallery by the sea, and in the process of wandering, I not only got pictures, ideas, inspiration, but also chatted with gallery managers and listened to stories.

Space and time are intertwined.

Of course we could spend a whole day swiping at a 2D display, but we also need a wonderful experience of sitting in front of our favorite artwork for a day.

Although it may not be possible in reality, I may also have a private gallery by the sea in the virtual world, where I can buy many works of my favorite artists and put them in it. Human nature has the desire to “collect”, we are all human.

To me, ERC20 has the divisibility of the material world, ERC721 (NFT) is like the soul/spirit, indivisible and integral, so when you own an NFT, you are like owning a piece that cannot be cut. soul.

I look up at the stars in the ruins of civilization, and no one can stop my mind from wandering in the universe.

References of 2021 there are around 360%2C000 NFT owners&text=According to the Financial Times and Chainalysis%2C there are approximately,80%25 of the market value.

Image references Creation_of_Adam (cropped).jpg has more than 1,moving in a circular motion. has more than 1,moving in a circular motion.

– END –

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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