While the morning coffee brews and before work beckons, Rasmus Groenning starts most days by sending greetings to the over 10,000 art enthusiasts from around the world who follow him on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter). It might be a recommendation for an article about digital art, a tip about a new and promising artist, or a link to the latest work he has just acquired. Clicking on the link takes you to a collection of over 1000 digital artworks that Rasmus Groenning has carefully built and curated in recent years.
It is highly recommended. The gallery at the web address https://oncyber.io/karmacowboy is a fascinating 3D universe where you navigate through a variety of modern and digital art expressions using your computer keyboard. Some are vibrant and expressive, others subdued and subtle. Some are abstract, others figurative and photorealistic. Some are static, some are in constant motion with added sound, while others are created with a surprising blend of known and unknown image techniques that you simply have to experience for yourself.
All the works are marked with an NFT – an abbreviation for ‘Non-Fungible Token’, which can be briefly explained as a unique digital certificate developed through blockchain technology, making it impossible to be copied or counterfeited. Therefore, an NFT serves as a guarantee of a work’s authenticity and can simultaneously contain information about the work’s origin, ownership, trade history, royalty terms, and much more. NFTs may resemble the concept of provenance in the classical art and museum world, but the possibilities extend much further. This is especially true in terms of buying and selling, where the previous barrier for digital art has been the inability to distinguish an original from a copy.
How did you start collecting NFT art, have you always been interested in art?
‘It’s fair to say that art doesn’t play a significant role in my work as a management consultant. However, I’ve always been curious and visited major museums when traveling the world. Specifically, my interest arose when a graphic designer I shared office space with asked if I wanted one of his NFTs, and that’s when I was actually hooked. It opened my eyes to a fantastic world of new and different art that I had no idea existed, and I find it incredibly innovative and exciting. It’s a world full of memes, new art movements (such as generative art, glitch art, and AI art), and more traditional art produced with digital means. At the same time, it feels ‘closer’ compared to a visit to a fine art gallery in one of the city’s expensive addresses.’
How can digital art be experienced ‘closer’ compared to a gallery, where one literally gets up close to physical artworks?
‘It’s perhaps more about a different accessibility in a digital gallery. There’s no reverent whispering here. It’s easy and quick to buy art. There’s no gallery owner speculating on whether you can afford it. The NFT contains all the information about the artwork you could wish for – and if you want to know more, you can write directly to the artist. In the classic gallery, the artist has long gone home after the opening.’
Do artists respond when you reach out to them?
‘In most cases, they do. Generally, the digital art scene is characterized by a strong network culture and a sense of community, where people are helpful and welcoming. It’s a way to stay informed and get to know new artists and styles. I’m far from the only one who sends out a morning greeting, hopefully inspiring others. For me, it’s almost a motivating factor in itself, in addition to being a good supplement to the magazines and marketplaces dedicated to trading and curating digital art – places like Superare.com, artblocks.io, verse.com, foundation.app, and niftygateway.com.
Craftsmen can use NFTs to ensure that their unique work is not illegally copied. But what about artisans, can they use NFTs too?
‘I believe they can. You can actually attach an NFT to a physical object, like a vase, using a chip. Or you can create a special digital version of the vase, a kind of digital twin, which you can link to an NFT and use to market your applied art – reaching not only local galleries and shops but potentially the whole world. I have been involved in developing an NFT collection for B&O and their products, which you could call a kind of industrialized craftsmanship. It has been a great success.’
How much can one expect to earn by putting their digital NFT-associated art up for sale?
‘It’s impossible to say anything concrete about that. It depends on how many people like your works, but also on the market more generally. During the pandemic, when many were isolated at home in front of the screen, there was a huge growth in NFT art trading. Many got dollar signs in their eyes and flooded the market with dubious works when they read the story of how Mike Winkelmann – the digital artist known as Beeple, who had never before sold a work for more than $100 – suddenly sold a piece for $69 million at Christie’s. Since then, the market has fallen significantly and has become much less speculative – fortunately, because it means that the art scene is still accessible to collectors like myself.’
‘If you are a creator of digital art, it’s important to clarify in the contract that is part of creating an NFT how much you should receive in royalty payment each time your work is resold – for example, 10 percent of the sale amount. It can quickly add up if you have created a popular piece or a series of works, and I know that there are Danish artists who have earned quite a bit from it.’
How do you get started, specifically – both as a collector and as an artist/craftsman?
‘Whether you are a collector or a creator, my first and most important advice would be to create a profile on X (formerly known as Twitter) and start finding and following the artists and collectors whose art and collections you like. That’s an important starting point. Then, more practically, it’s about setting up a wallet to store your NFT certificates, a gallery to showcase your collection, and issuing or minting your own NFTs for a modest one-time fee on one of the many digital art platforms. The internet is full of detailed guides that help you through the process – it may sound nerdy, but it’s not so difficult. Above all, it’s fun, and that’s the most important thing.’
Digitalised art – referring to physical works that have been made digital by scanning or photographing them and possibly post-processing.
Digital native art – art without a physical prototype, created using programs such as Photoshop.
Generative art – art created by a specific algorithm developed by an artist. The algorithm can produce infinitely many but unique variants, and the artist can either curate among them and select the best 5-10 or decide on a limit (e.g., 1,000) and let buyers mint these without knowing exactly what they will receive in advance. The latter is called long-form generative art due to the size of the series, which usually ranges from 100-1,000. Danish artist Thomas Lind is a good example of this type of digital art.
AI art – art created using artificial intelligence, which is ‘trained’ on specific datasets consisting of selected artworks and styles. The Finnish artist @rainisto is a famous exponent of this method with the collection “Life in West America” (Life in West America).
Rasmus Groenning’s Collection of Links to NFT Art
The Two Major Blockchains for Art
- Ethereum: https://ethereum.org/en/ – Ethereum: groft sagt stedet for den dyre kunst
- Tezos: https://tezos.com/ – Tezos: stedet for den mere eksperimenterende kunst og emerging artists
Best Publication on Crypto Art
Example of an Art Project Integrating Physical and Digital (Jeff Koons)
Platform Where Artists Tailor Their Own NFT Contracts
Traditional Museums with NFT Collections
Marketplaces with Digital Art Based on the Ethereum Blockchain
Digital Art (all)
Generative Art (GenArt)
NFT Native Gallerier
Large Collections of Digital Art
Marketplaces for Digital Art based on the Tezos blockchain
Generative Art (GenArt)
Digital Art (all)
Hybride gallerier (traditional galleries with NFT sites)
Auction Houses with Dedicated Departments and NFT Sites
Prominent Danish NFT Artists
- https://twitter.com/johnreuss(maler og digital kunst)
- https://twitter.com/mariafynsknorup(fotograf og digital kunst) Maria Fynsk
- https://twitter.com/NoCreative_eth(digital kunst) Kristian Levin
- https://twitter.com/thomasp85(Generative Art) Thomas Lind
Bang & Olufsens NFT-samling
Examples of NFT works created based on physical objects
More Knowledge in the Archive
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