NFT is the initialism on everyone’s lips as the new technology rakes in the money, similar to blockchain and cryptocurrency before it. However, what is the real benefit behind it when it comes to art investment? Patrick Brusnahan writes

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unit of data stored on blockchain that certifies a digital asset to be completely unique and not transferrable or interchangeable. It can be used for a myriad of digital files.

Every sector seems to be embracing NFTs with open arms. Rock band Kings of Leon released its latest album in March in the form of an NFT. Musical artists such as Lil Pump and Eminem followed. Director Kevin Smith has claimed his next film would be released as an NFT. There seems to be no end to this NFT craze and its utility.

Art is no exception.
HOFA Gallery decided to release NFT artworks as digital complements to physicals in its Matter & Form exhibition.

HOFA Co-founder Elio D’Anna says: “Traditional, conventional art has always struggled with the problem of accessibility, which meant that many people were excluded from enjoying and investing in art. Furthermore, it has meant that artists could only reach a fraction of their potential audience.”

He continues: “Finally, the world of digital is steadily levelling the field, and today we are seeing the NFT phenomenon address this problem of accessibility in a new way by giving legitimacy and currency to digitally subsisting art.”

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Online accessibility

Jan Kalab, Loribelle Spirovski, Gregory Siff and Darian Mederos, four artists in HOFA’s latest group exhibition, will release their crypto artworks with MakersPlace – the world’s largest art NFTs marketplace.

The aim is to bridge the gap between conventional and digital art, while making it all more accessible to a younger market.

Speaking to PBI, Jake Elias, head of digital art at HOFA Gallery & Artcels, says: “There is often a stigma around galleries and their stuffiness. Art sold in galleries tends to be of a certain standard and therefore price. NFTs are primarily sold online, eradicating the need to travel to a gallery.

“The fact that pretty much anyone can log onto the internet from wherever they are and search the markets for NFTs makes it more accessible. The price point for an NFT artwork or collectible is usually lower.”

Bridging young and old

However, it this just for younger investors or are more traditional art investors and HNWIs interested?

Elias continues: “We are starting to see a new generation of clients enter the space. This is made possible by companies like HOFA bridging the gap and helping top contemporary artists that wealthier, older clients appreciate, create new NFTs.”

But how has art recovered after a year of Covid-19?

Elias concludes: “Covid came with its challenges, but all in all we’ve seen a steady growth over the last year. For obvious reasons, we saw fewer gallery sales due to closures, but online sales have skyrocketed both through our website and socials.”