The Story of Senses auction is closed with a total value of about 1.2 million USD
ArtGee presents “The Story of Senses: Decision Between Abstract and Concrete”, a groundbreaking online exhibition hosted at the G tower in the virtual world of Decentraland. This Exhibition features 10 NFT artists including Amparo, Elise Swopes, Blacksneakers, Gavin Shapiro, Josh Pierce, Khaled, Krista Kim, Ondrej Zunka, Ryogo Toyoda, and Twisted Vacancy. Alongside the exhibition, all of the works were also part of the auction which were sold for the total amount of 321.57 ETH, equal to about 1.2 million USD.
To most people, even some advocates of art, NFTs is still a fairly new term. It gained its momentum in 2017 after the digital game Cryptokitties’ success and came to public attention after the sale of Beeple’s “EVERYDAYS — THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” at Christie’s this spring. Since then, we have become familiar with the term NFTs. We see it on the news every day; all the major auction houses competing to release and promote the next record-breaking NFTs sale; and the rapid emergence of new crypto art marketplaces like SuperRare, Nifty Gateway, and OpenSea. While many people are speculating the sustainability of NFT art, as a member of the art industry, the questions we should be asking are: “What is NFTs’ place in the contemporary art world?”, “How should we value an NFT work?” and “How do we define a good NFT work?”.
One must realize that an NFT is merely a drive for artworks in different mediums. We must learn to separate and distinguish the two before we can evaluate the art itself. NFTs provide digital art with scarcity, transparency, and collectability, but digital art has been established by many artists before the invention of cryptocurrency and has been a part of the contemporary art history for decades. In that perspective, NFT art can be evaluated, criticized, and studied base on its aesthetic, narrative, history, and provenance, etc. as digital art to some degree. Of course, as NFT art grows, the changes that it can potentially bring to the art world will lead to diversities, and new conversations will be made. As time goes by, we will have to adopt a new way to look at NFT art as well.
For this reason, curation becomes a very crucial part of the process of making an NFT art exhibition. As curators we have to pay attention to an ocean of recent emerging artists and their works as we slowly figure out the market, for a well-curated exhibition in this early stage can directly impact an artist’s career, thus, in a grand scale changing the ecology of the market. A quote that deeply inspired the founder of ArtGee, Felicia Che: “Every successful investment (in an artwork) is a victory to the Aesthetics.”
The Story of Senses: Decision Between Abstract and Concrete explores the very idea of the connection between humans and technology (especially Virtual Reality) during this time of the digital revolution. All of the works selected to be in the exhibition converse in languages we are familiar with: cars, animals, urban landscapes, nature, figures; yet they are all situated in and with surreal virtual settings — technicolor space, lights glowing in the air, mystical creatures. Doesn’t the confusing and chaotic combination of Abstract (Virtual) and Concrete (Reality) perfectly describe the era we are in? And what does it mean to exist and creating art in the digital world?
One of the exhibited artists, Krista Kim, who founded Techism in 2014 says in her essay “We are Creating a Decentralized Civilization”: “… Artists express humanity in their work. Art is a force of nature that brings us together. The contribution of art using digital technology will create a more connected and humane culture, which will affect how our society chooses to use and innovate digital technology for the future. It is the demonstration of possibilities and expression of free thought, using digital technology that will create a more balanced culture.” As we are slowly transitioning into a time where the digital world is inevitably colliding with the reality as we know of, we should encourage artists to embrace this technological innovation as a medium to further their creation, instead of seeing it as a limitation.
This exhibition may be the very first step towards that goal. We do need time and effort to discover the next chapter of NFT art, but every work from this exhibition might provide new perspectives and ideas as to where the future might lead.