In the past few months, NFTs have grown in importance as more and more people become interested in the latest cryptocurrency trend.
NFT, which stands for intangible token, acts as a digital collector’s item that people can buy and collect for monetary value. Sites like Open sea and NBA top shot are just a few of the marketplaces where people can buy NFTs.
Works like “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” by Digital artist Beeple has sold for $ 69 million on NFT marketplaces. Artists like Kings of Leon and retired UFC champion Khabib have also stepped into the NFT realm each Publications.
A local San Francisco art gallery known as Local Maker Mart premiered in San Francisco on March 25 – an online NFT auction on Twitch that allowed viewers to bid and buy works by various artists. The auction was held at the market between Green Street and Columbus Avenue in the North Beach district to bring local artists into the NFT scene.
Gregory Castellanos, the gallery’s CEO, sees the latest trends in NFTs as a signal for a new future in art.
Liam Skye, a local artist and Local Maker Mart Gallery resident, explains his NFT-based art to an audience as viewed on a touchscreen monitor in the Local Maker Mart Gallery. (Emily Curiel / Golden Gate Xpress) (Emily Curiel)
“I think it’s growing and it’s going to expand into the mainstream. I feel like there was this crucial point where it looks like it would quickly go away if it gushed, ”he said. “Now I have the feeling that it not only stays here, but also pushes [NFT’s] as moving technology forward and making it accessible to artists, ”he said.
Sponsored by NFT exchange platforms Digitalax and OpenSea, the gallery featured a variety of local artists including Liam Skye and Akeem Raheem. For Raheem and Skye, the event was an opportunity to immerse themselves in an excitement that has grown steadily over the past few months.
“I had heard some rumors about NFTs and what they were and how there was a digital art scene that had already broken out and I was kind of behind the ball,” Raheem said of his knowledge of NFTs before entering the auction .
The prices for the NFTs displayed ranged from $ 500 to $ 1,000. Those who participated in the auction were able to purchase the NFTs through QR codes that the gallery had displayed on monitors. Scanning the QR code would then take users to the OpenSea marketplace, where buyers could bid on the NFTs and view the moving items for some of them.
Each of the NFTs was displayed on a touchscreen monitor where visitors could click and read the premise and motivation for each work.
Although his art has been exhibited as NFT, artist Liam Skye said he was still skeptical of the whole concept.
“It’s kind of scary because you have no idea who it’s going to go to, like the whole thing, who owns the art, gives it value,” he said. “I won’t know who will act it. It’s not the same as when the person comes here or you sell it to them and know who you’re selling to, ”he said.
Anna Chili, a San Francisco artist, displays her paintings on a metal shelf for people to see at the Local Maker Mart Gallery. (Emily Curiel / Golden Gate Xpress) (Emily Curiel)
Because of its uniqueness and limited quantity, artists like Raheem believe that the work chosen to be later minted and turned into an NFT must have some meaning.
“I try to choose because, on the one hand, I have too many pieces to shape them all and, on the other, I just want something that really reflects the urban culture we all know,” he said.
The term is coined when an artist inserts their work onto the blockchain, which is a type of digital record book that relates to cryptocurrency and shows all of the transactions made on the network. When an artist shapes his work, he makes his work immutable. This gives NFTs the uniqueness that there is nothing like it on the blockchain. It’s like one of one for a fashion item or someone else of monetary worth.
Castellanos hopes to make the auction a recurring event as the popularity of NFTs grows.
“I’m happy about this first one. It is always a learning experience the first time you host an event and we are pioneers in new waters here, ”said Castellanos. “So I would love to see this grow and develop. I hope we have a lot of success on our first auction, and we hope that we can do this more often and add this to the regular schedule if there is something we can do to help artists succeed. “