“Painting, sculpture, and all manner physical art are dead. Long live painting, sculpture, and physical art.”
Just kidding… not really.
On Sunday, September 20, 2020, I formally made the transition from selling physical art (large scale oil paintings), to digital “cryptoart” on the blockchain.
It was eye-opening.
And what was even more fun, is that I didn’t sell one digital painting; I sold FIVE. In the span of two hours. But I’ll come back to that…
First though, imagine someone telling your future-self in the year 2048: “Oh, ya know, we kinda got so futuristic as a society, with robots, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, that we sort of had to put all that physical art in storage.”
While this theoretically could happen, as humans I don’t think we’ll ever stop falling in love with physical paintings, or art that was expertly crafted by human hands, with raw materials.
It’s in our nature.
Figuration, for example, is arguably why painting (as an art form) was created. One of my painting heroes, famously once said:
“Flesh is the reason oil paint was invented”. -Willem de Kooning
I tend to agree. But physical paintings also have their own… physical limitations.
And our affection for tangible art should not hold us back from embracing new artistic mediums. Whether we are artists, collectors, enthusiasts, students, educators, gallerists, dealers, curators, or investors.
Especially if those new mediums categorically challenge the art world industrial complex / status quo.
I’m no an art historian… but last time I checked art has never been about maintaining the status quo. If anything, artists are professional status quo destroyers. That’s how they create value.
You may already know the blockchain is useful, or that Bitcoin is super important and eating the financial world, or that CryptoArt is in its infancy stages of becoming a mega-important emerging asset class.
As a painter, to bridge the gap between the traditional art world and the CryptoArt world, I knew I had to do something innovative, and FUN.
So I decided to price all of the digital from my first series, using an extremely atypical, yet utterly simple strategy. Here’s what I’m doing:
My first cryptoart series is called Bacteria. It is 250 (single edition) digital paintings / NFT’s (non-fungible tokens). Each will be priced exactly 0.01 ETH higher than the previous.
Digital Painting #1 = 0.01 ETH
Digital Painting #2 = 0.02 ETH
Digital Painting #3 = 0.03 ETH
Digital Painting #68 = 0.68 ETH
Digital Painting #142 = 1.42 ETH
Digital Painting #250 = 2.5 ETH
After I announced a “pre-sale” late night on Twitter, the DM’s began flooding in. There was more demand than supply, so I had to operate on a first-come / first-serve basis.
Here’s what happened…
#1 of 250
#2 of 250
#3 of 250
#4 of 250
#5 of 250
IT WAS OVER IN A FLASH.
The first tranche of the pre-sale sold out instantly. The complete pre-sale allocated 10% of the project, approximately 25 digital paintings, made available to collectors who expressed interest directly on Twitter. Ultimately, 31 paintings were sold during the pre-sale.
My Twitter handle by the way is @Montbland, DM’s are open.
Now that the pre-sale is over, new artwork will be released in batches, in a very controlled manner. The next batch of 25 (give or take) will be announced in March, 2021. Each new group of digital paintings will be announced on Twitter, where and how to purchase it, and will adhere strictly to the pricing schedule described above. 100% fixed prices. No auctions. The paintings are evolving too, this is an example of from the next batch to be released:
The pricing model will apply until #250 is sold for 2.5 ETH. In terms of future projects, I may re-employ the same strategy, we shall see.
Collectors frequently ask me, ‘What do these paintings mean?’. What I can share is that each one is named after a unique strain of bacteria, have a disco-ball quality to them. By the way, Damien Hirst is one of my favorite artists of all time, and his colorful Spot Paintings are each named after pharmaceutical drugs, which I think is brilliant. Bacteria is everywhere, and life could not exist without it. There’s good bacteria, and bad. More than 20,000 strains have been identified by scientists and biologists.
Final thought. Art is meant to uplift the human experience. My goal for everyone who participates in this project is to have fun, and to watch what happens.