mike winkelmanbetter known as the Beeple, built his own museum to exhibit digital artwhich is art involving NFTs, non-fungible tokens.
The Winkelmann-designed museum will be both a studio and an exhibition space for temporary exhibitions of digital art, with no set schedule.
The announcement was made by Winkelmann during the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference.
Indeed, Beeple said that thanks in part to the now historic sale at Christie’s for nearly $70 million last year, it is planning a 50,000 square foot exhibition space in Charleston, South Carolina, for showcase digital art, including his own.
How the Mike Winkelmann Museum will be structured
As previously predicted, Beeple said that while part of the space will be used as a studio, the property will primarily be used as a public museum.
The artist confessed his concern that NFT digital art does not get the visibility it deserves on the mainstream art market. Thus, Winkelmann’s decision is to exhibit the works of the digital artists he most admires and finds interesting, in addition to his own.
Additionally, Beeple added that he has no plans to sell the works of these artists, as he wants the museum to remain a non-commercial space. Among the changes from a traditional museum, he told the conference, the intention is to shorten the length of exhibitions compared to most art galleries or traditional museums.
So, instead of taking months to set up an exhibition and leaving it the same for a varying amount of time, Winkelmann will attempt to change the digital art on display without the typical stillness of exhibitions that we are used to.
Why Beeple wants to create a digital art museum
Winkelmann’s initiative is no accident. In fact, as he states, the idea also comes from the wave of difficulties that digital artists are facing lately, due to low demand for their NFT works.
In fact, there isn’t much hype for NFT works now, compared to the initial excitement that engulfed everyone at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this regard, Beeple confesses:
“When the cryptocurrency market nearly crashed this spring, it took the NFT-based art market with it – auction house Christie’s only sold 4.6 million pieces. dollars worth of NFT in the first half of this year, up from $150 million last year.”
Apparently, Winkelmann has visited museums around the world in recent years to get a better sense of how curators and visitors present and interact with digital art.
“My exhibition space in South Carolina will focus on the actual experience of digital art, rather than the speculation surrounding it.”
Mike Winkelmann’s concerns about NFT art
Winkelmann said he intends to leverage lessons he’s learned, such as the NFT digital art phenomenon, to help other up-and-coming artists during the recession.
Mr Beeple is hopeful and expects digital art to survive the current market climate, although he has factored in the likelihood of lesser artwork being sorted out. Likewise, NFTs, which have no entertainment value or general utility, will likely lose value and disappear.
Additionally, Winkelmann added:
“We are definitely in a crypto winter. People are hyper-focused on pricing and things like that, and I think the right goal would be to build things that will have long-term value in the space. The fundamental technology has not changed in the last six months. If you focus on providing products that people find fun or useful, you’ll be fine.
Winkelmann said he withdrew some of his fortune from cryptocurrencies before the market collapsed, but has since reinvested it.
Beeple definitely joins the great artists opening up their own museums and perspectives that his own will show digital art in a different way from the proliferation of immersive art productions that have popped up lately, centered on artists like Vincent Van Gogh.
Winkelmann is also aware that he can do much better than the few top-notch galleries that feature digital art that invades the halls. Indeed, blockchain technologies represent a much more meaningful way to collect work, according to Beeple.
Internet Festival: art in the age of NFTs
During the last Internet Festival, “Art in the time of NFTs and Blockchain” was discussed during an afternoon of ideas, organized by Lorenzo Guasti and Serena Tabacchi.
They notably mentioned the sale on March 11, 2021 of the NFT work “The first 5000 days” by the artist Beeple. The collage containing his first five thousand daily works, was auctioned off at Christie’s for 70 million dollars.
After this sale, the world of art and collecting has changed forever and will never be the same.
Insofar as, before NFTs, it was always difficult for even the most famous digital artist to claim their place in the art market due to the impossibility of making their work unique and non-reproducible.
Lorenzo Guasticurator of the Internet Festival, declares:
“NFTs make all digital art products unique and original. Before tokens, there was the risk of duplication or counterfeiting. With NFTs, this becomes impossible, because the NFT is a smart contract, that is, a contract written on a blockchain. And, once registered in the blockchain, it becomes indelible and tamper-proof. Thus, it becomes an exchange that can be sold or bought.
Indeed, NFTs allowed artists to experiment with technology that was previously only available to those with more technical knowledge. They also allowed artists to connect with each other through platforms, marketplaces or social media.