Technology

NFT art: Banksy showcased in new ARTCELS portfolio

If there is one thing you should know about NFT art, it's this: "This isn’t a fad. This is gonna go on for a lot longer.” 

Art investor views 'Girl with a Balloon', distinctive screen print by Banksy. Image credit: HOFA Gallery
Art investor views ‘Girl with a Balloon’, a distinctive screen print by Banksy. Image credit: HOFA Gallery

If there is one thing you should know about NFT art, it’s this: “This isn’t a fad. This is gonna go on for a lot longer.”

That’s what Alex Elias, Head of Digital Art of London-based HOFA Gallery and digital arts investment platform ARTCELS, told Digital Life Asia during a virtual preview of the new blue-chip art portfolio “Millennials” for the media on April 22. The portfolio, which includes pieces by coveted artists such as Banksy, Nina Chanel Abney, Jonas Wood, Josh Sperling, and Yoshimoto Nara, is available to investors as share-based ownership using NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which are currently revolutionizing the gaming and collectibles space — including helping Filipino gamers put food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investing in NFT art

An art investor walks past 'Temporary Friend', a unique set of five relief prints by Nina Chanel Abney. Image credit: HOFA Gallery
An art investor walks past ‘Temporary Friend’, a unique set of five relief prints by Nina Chanel Abney. Image credit: HOFA Gallery

What is a non-fungible token? Here’s a simple definition in Wikipedia: “a unit of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable”.

While NFTs have been around for some time, they have become mainstream thanks to the sudden popularity — and profitability — of NFT art, as reported by CNN.

And after Christie’s auction house sold the first-ever NFT artwork — a collage of images by digital artist Beeple for a whopping $69.3 million last week — NFTs have suddenly captured the world’s attention.

So what are NFTs?

In the simplest terms, NFTs transform digital works of art and other collectibles into one-of-a-kind, verifiable assets that are easy to trade on the blockchain.

While it seems everyone is joining the NFT art bandwagon, what differentiates ARTCELS is that the portfolio focuses on ultra-contemporary blue-chip artwork, from artists that have seen their works appreciate in value.

ARTCELS also touts its investment strategy based on expert insight on stocks and market trends, complementing this preference for top-performing art assets.

New generation of collectors

'Millennials' is also being exhibited in a specially curated show at HOFA Gallery in London for both investors and the public to enjoy. Image credit: HOFA Gallery
‘Millennials’ is also being exhibited in a specially curated show at HOFA Gallery. Image credit: HOFA Gallery

“We feel that the popularity has exploded because of the fact there’s a completely new collectorship in the NFT market. So we’ve gone away from the traditional collectors — who are still trying to enter the space as well — but we’re seeing new, almost millennials come into the space and collect the art.

“And there’s a lot more variety as well. Obviously, with the platform, there’s now 3D artists and animators, as well as your more contemporary artists. So we think that’s the reason the space is exploding. Obviously, we have things like artist rights, as well, so they’re getting residual income off the piece,” Elias told Digital Life Asia in a video chat after the virtual tour.

He said ARTCELS adds value to the artwork.

“I’d say it’s actually added to the value of art, especially with the way that we are trying to do it. Which is, mint the original and the traditional pieces, and then have the NFTs as well as those. We think this has just added value to each piece. The traditional still holds the value, but the fact that you can sell the NFT, that can move from person to person,” he said.

The price of a single “Millennials” share is US$1,000 and the portfolio opens with an initial offering of US$250,000 capped at 250 shares.

The ARTCELS art portfolio will be backed by its own Swiss-based cryptocurrency, ARTEM. This is expected to facilitate transfer of NFT ownership and facilitate secure transactions among members of ARTCELS. ARTEM is set to have a market capitalization of US$25M, an initial coin value of US$0.023, and 1.1B coins issued in conjunction with the “Millennials” release.