World-famous auction house Sotheby’s has recreated its London New Bond Street galleries in the virtual world of Decentraland. After getting involved in NFT auctions, the renowned auction house now becomes part of the metaverse with their own virtual location.
The virtual version of Sotheby’s London location is placed in Decentraland’s Voltaire Art District (visit: 52,83). The designers copied the physical location brick by brick. The virtual venue features five ground level gallery spaces as well as a non-player character of Sotheby’s London Commissionaire, Hans Lomulder, to greet visitors.
On Thursday Sotheby’s had their Natively Digital NFT auction, while next week they will put CryptoPunk #7523 under the hammer. They will stream the auction from inside Decentraland. Robert Alice will also sell and show an NFT artwork that learns when people speak to it.
The Natively Digital NFT collection features a whole bunch of artists, including FVCKRENDER, Mad Dog Jones, XCOPY, Don Diablo, Pak, Matt Kane and many others. Furthermore, you will find an Autoglyph by Larva Labs in the collection, alongside the earlier mentioned CryptoPunk. In addition there are 19 artworks that have been generated through Art Blocks, would includes Bryan Brinkman’s Nimbud clouds.
Wait, what is an NFT? And what’s NFT art?
Digital art has been around for decades. However, without the existence of blockchain technology it was impossible to verify authenticity and rarity. Now digital art connects to a token on the blockchain, a non-fungible token or NFT. That way buyers can see how many copies of a certain artwork there are, and whether the product is original. We often refer to digital art on the blockchain as crypto art, but NFT art as a name has become increasingly popular.
The concept of seeing a digital image as art, is one thing. However, for many people it will be a challenge to consider digital images valuable. Consider this: The Mona Lisa is worth many millions of dollars. If I would paint the Mona Lisa in an exact copy, it would be worth only 50 dollars. Because we all know where the original version is. Being able to verify the authenticity and rarity of a piece of art is crucial. This applies to NFT art on the blockchain as well.
Some people don’t care about the Mona Lisa. It’s just a painting. They are happy to download an image from Google Images, print it on canvas and hang it in their living room. Others want the real deal. The same rules go up for digital art. Many people will be happy having a digital image they like, screenshotted on their phone. Others will value having an original artwork, minted by the actual creator, verifiable through blockchain technology.
Read more to understand non-fungible tokens even better!
Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he’s a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He’s a content manager and creator at heart, working on Play to Earn and for a variety of third party magazines and websites.