What’s the next NFT trend?
The first NFTs were by Cyber Punks, and then came the storm of Apes, Axis, and Pudgy Penguins. What’s with new NFTs and the craze around them just to get the attention of the metaverse? NFTs are collectible abstract, art generated through computers called Art Blocks. Since the launch in November 2020, artists on the blockchain have created more 100,000 unique works with the help of a process called “generative art” In the past month the sales of NFTs reached a record high of $570 million.
The buyers of Art Blocks have no clue what the piece is going to be like, it’s original for every buyer. The platform’s artists design algorithms that define specific qualities of their work. But the final image can only be generated by the script when each NFT is minted on the Ethereum blockchain (resulting in a different graphic each time). The Art Blocks range from simple squiggles to most compound geometric works, such as Sol LeWitt-style creating an interactive experience. There are tens of thousands variations of each style created by artists.
Art Blocks is creating millionaires. Tyler Hobbs used an algorithm he called Fidenza to create a series of intricate generative artworks. The Art from the Fidenza collection now are valued at very high prices, there are 999 total works. Kevin Roose the founder of Digg sold Fidenza #313 the previous week for 1,000 ETH ($3.3 million) he had bought the art work for 0.58 ETH (approx. $1500) the past summer. The lowest priced artwork of a Fidenza piece currently sold on OpenSea is at a whopping 294 ETH (approx. $962,000).
Are seven-figure values for digital artworks the future? Till today 16 Art Blocks have been sold for more than $1 million, and in last august the total trade volume of 80% of Art Blocks’ have skyrocketed. Erick Calderon the founder of Art Blocks told Decrypt recently that what is happening is incredibly exhilarating, validating but also terrifying.
Why is it so important? For the artist, Art Blocks has a deal that the old-school art market lacks: an automatic 5% on every time reselling a piece. For NFT fans, Art Blocks’ success is going in a new direction and it’s an evolution of crypto aesthetics. It is attracting new buyers from white-hot contemporary art market who want a diverse type of kick. It is very different from collecting profile-pic avatars like Bored Apes and CryptoPunks. We are witnessing the creation of history, merger of two worlds, but we do not yet know if the current price levels are sustainable, especially after the volatile summer for NFTs.