Cryptocurrencies Have Spawned an Eclectic Underground Art Movement
What do the art and cryptocurrency worlds have in common? Among other things, the love of the conceptual, evoking of the emotions and the tendency to confuse admirers. Over the past century, we have seen cubism, starting in the early 1900s, which opened the doors for art movements like surrealism, abstract, impressionism and pop art. We are now entering a new phase that fuses art with cryptocurrency to create hybrid exhibitions with names such as the “Bitcoin Art (r)Evolution” in France.
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Buying and Selling Art Using Crypto
Modernism in art connotes a rejection of conventions and a commitment to radical innovation. In the 20th century, modern art movements were fueled by a belief that human society would advance through the spread of democracy, capitalism and technological innovation. This dovetails nicely with crypto. Bitcoin has anti-capitalist features such as the ability to decentralize the banks and grant equal access to finance.
Movements such as fauvism, futurism, constructivism, suprematism, de stijl and the British art movement, vorticism, have all played a huge role in creative expression. Beneath the ‘isms’ and esoteric jargon is a belief that anyone can create or appreciate good art. Art is a visual representation of new age revolutionaries, not just for the elite and educated segments of society.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that artists have been utilizing crypto to buy, sell and create art. For artists and collectors it is critical to understand the current trends that drive the market. Cryptocurrency, and the world it has spawned, has infused products and slowly invaded pop culture. There are a number of independent art galleries now jumping on the crypto bandwagon. At one London art gallery, a portion of Andy Warhol’s 1980 work “14 Small Electric Chairs” was sold as fractionalized ownership using cryptocurrencies.
Singapore-based collector Joe Nash is selling some of his Australian art collection through Visionairs Gallery, which also accepts cryptocurrencies. Florida based art gallery Lynx Art Collection is also accepting bitcoin payments. Then there are platforms such as Maecenas which claims to be “the first open blockchain platform that democratizes access to fine art.”
In France a group of international artists put on a cryptocurrency art exhibition to celebrate its birthday. Dubbed the “Bitcoin Art (r)Evolution,” it aimed to show “the potential of cryptocurrencies through symbolism and practice,” and “illustrate the genesis of this digital revolution.”
Another interesting twist to the art world involves wannabe artists submitting art in return for tokens. For example the Scarab Experiment created in 2014 is a multi-user collective that uses artificial intelligence image processing to form a single work of art from one thousand submissions.
The Banksy of the Cryptocurrency World
Then there are artist who are using crypto as the subject matter and inspiration behind their creations. In the U.K., Manchester-based Aktiv Protesk is part of a new wave of artists who uses cryptocurrencies. Dubbed the Banksy of the cryptocurrency world, Protesk relies on bitcoin to sell his art.
Recently, in the midst of the yellow vest protests in Paris, one popular street artist called Pascal Boyart, known as Pboy, created a mural depiction of the drama unfolding in France. The painting also features a puzzle containing 0.28 BTC for whoever can solve the mystery.
The art world is rapidly adopting crypto and the movement has been going from strength to strength. Whether it’s through oil paintings, sculpture, street art, graffiti, visual and performing arts or other mixed media, the art and crypto love-in continues to smolder.
What do you think about crypto influencing the art world? Let us know in the comments section below.
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