If there isn’t yet a playbook to launch a high-quality NFT platform, the Gallery of Digital Assets (GODA) may be compiling one. It looks like this: start with a founding team that brings together big names in crypto, entrepreneurship and celebrity; take a star artist as an advisor; organize selectively; make access to drops exclusive; and create a standard-compliant website and purchasing process.
These qualities are on full display for the next drop of the Hilma af Klint platform, which will be released on November 14th. Founder Pharrell Williams is quoted praising the Swedish artist, as is KAWS. The 193 Paintings for the Temple The NFTs are offered in an edition of two, but one will remain with Stolpe Publishing, which has produced a seven-volume catalog on the Swedish artist. Those new to NFTs can contact Magic Eden, which provides a concierge service.
Over a century ago, af Klint completed her extensive series of bold, colorful auto paintings, works she dreamed would inhabit a giant spiral-shaped building. The Guggenheim made that fantasy a reality with its 2019 blockbuster, “Paintings for the Future,” the most-attended exhibition in the history of the New York institution. She is unlikely to have considered having her paintings digitized and whipped onto the internet, despite KAWS’ claim that “she painted for the future. She painted for us!
Six months after its launch, the fourth version of GODA (the previous three have sold out, generating more than $20 million in sales volume) hopes to reach a wider audience. Unlike past sales, the platform’s NFT Mint Pass, ownership of which provides exclusive access, will not be required. “Success would be to introduce more traditional art collectors into the Web3 space,” co-founder Shaun Neff told Artnet News, “to bring more legitimacy to this medium and help them understand the importance and potential of NFTs in the world of digital art”.
The project was born in part from KAWS’ relationship with Acute Art, which specializes in collaborating with contemporary artists on works using the latest digital tools. He recently published VR and AR experiences of af Klint’s work for Frieze London. The NFTs are essentially a collection extension of this project and the catalog of Stolpe Publishing – the original works themselves belong to the Hilma af Klint Foundation and can never be marketed, making it, in Neff’s words, ” a perfect fit to receive the NFT treatment.”
“Hilma af Klint was a metaphysical artist. She clearly anticipated art forms that have nothing to do with physical objects,” Daniel Birnbaum, artistic director of Acute Art, told Artnet News. “The experience she anticipated appears to be substantially compatible with virtual space and digital technology.”
Although the NFT boom started with digital native artists, momentum seems to be gathering around minting the work of established artists, perhaps to entice mainstream collectors on board. The State Hermitage in St. Petersburg released Kandinsky and Monet’s NFTs last year, the Belvedere Museum in Vienna split a digital image of Gustav Klimt The kiss in 10,000 NFTs, and the French platform laCollection worked with the British Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on digital collectibles.
After decades of critical and public neglect, af Klint is posthumously gaining attention and claiming his place among the great abstract artists of the 20th century. The seventh volume of her catalog was released recently, along with a new biography on Swedish mysticism, and a biopic hit theaters in October.
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