The volatile blockchain items are seeing interest from an unexpected direction.
Non fungible tokens, or NFTs, enjoyed a brief and intense moment in the limelight before collapsing spectacularly along with most cryptocurrencies over the past 18 months.
The little-understood concept drew the attention of celebrities, fast money seeking issuers and traders, occasionally drawing outsized bids in cryptocurrencies that are themselves now largely in the doghouse.
But the concept of a digitally unique “object” has and continues to hold big appeal among a specific category of people, namely artists.
Now, in a kind of validation of that interest, a collection of NFTs has made it into the highest of highbrow settings,
France’s National Museum of Modern Art, also known as the Georges Pompidou Centre of Art and Culture, has acquired its first NFTs as well as related digital works from 13 artists.
“Over the past three years, NFTs have ignited a digital art market that is more volatile than ever. After spectacular transactions (the most famous of which remains that of the American artist Beeple who, in March 2021, sold his digital collage Everydays: the First 5000 Days for $69.3 million), the bubble burst,” the museum wrote in a blog post — as translated by Google.
“The cryptocurrency market (which is backed by that of NFTs) is experiencing a sharp slowdown, with in particular the crash of the FTX asset trading platform at the end of 2022,” the post said.
The acquisitions are “less a question of taking an interest in the pop cultural phenomenon of “collectibles” (these collections of images sold by NFT, such as the “Bored Apes” or the “CryptoPunks”), than of exploring the boldest uses of this technology,” according to the post.
The acquisitions include works by “Claude Closky or Fred Forest, as well as emerging talents such as the Chinese aaajiao, the French Émilie Brout and Maxime Marion, and even Larva Labs, the American duo behind the phenomenon of “CryptoPunks,” the museum said.