Art Crusade vol. 4

Leaving the Art World better than we found it.

The exploding world of Crypto Art and NFTs continued over the last week(see last week's newsletter for an introduction). Some of the highlights were:

Digital artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, made history after his latest piece(NFT), “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” sold for an insane $69.3 million following an auction at Christie’s. It was the third-highest sale price ever for a work from a living artist.

A Banksy artwork was burned, destroyed, and sold as a token in 'money-making stunt. The NFT of the destruction was sold for $380,000. Um, you had an original Bansky and you destroyed it. What is wrong with you people?

The original 2006 screenprint by Banksy is entitled Morons (White) and depicts a Christie's auctioneer pointing at framed paintings in a crowded auction room. Next to him is a framed image accompanied by a phrase including the words: “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this."

Meanwhile, the Kings of Leon have reportedly made $2 million through sales of their tokenized album — with $600,000 going to a fund that’s designed to support live music crews affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

During all of these insane amounts of money changing digital hands, I found more articles referring to the costs of NFTs and cryptocurrency. I stopped at the single NFT piece I created as a test. I have an electric car, recycle, and try my best to be a good steward of the planet, so I have issues with the ecological impact of NFTs.

An entirely different problem is the rise of digital theft, where people are stealing other artist’s work, tweets, etc., and tokenizing it without attribution or compensation to the owner. As a result, many artists are making their social media accounts private hoping to limit access by these digital art thieves.

Further reading:

Think cryptocurrency is bad? NFTs are even worse
by Amanda Yeo
https://mashable.com/article/nft-cryptocurrency-bad-environment-art/

Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,00
by Erin Griffith
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/22/business/nft-nba-top-shot-crypto.html

Banksy art burned, destroyed and sold as token in 'money-making stunt
by Cristina Criddle
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56335948


Watching:

Banksy and The Rise of Outlaw Art (Kanopy)
https://www.kanopy.com/product/banksy-and-rise-outlaw-art

Banksy, the world's most infamous street artist, whose political art, criminal stunts, and daring invasions outraged the establishment and created a revolutionary new movement while his identity remained shrouded in mystery.

Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art (Netflix)
https://www.netflix.com/title/81406333

A woman walks into a New York gallery with a cache of unknown masterworks. Thus begins a story of art world greed, willfulness, and a high-stakes con.


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