Trained as an engineer, Toulouse artist Charles Giulioli has always been passionate about innovations and developments on the Web. Not surprisingly, he is interested in NFTs. This technology that guarantees the authenticity of a digital work is not that complicated. These are, in fact, titles of intellectual property that allow obtaining contracts of sale. Its integrity is guaranteed by a blockchain and its payment is made in cryptocurrency. Charles Giulioli decides to take the plunge and put some works up for sale on the Open Sea platform. From his exploration he draws positive points: “Buyers are not the same as in galleries or auctions. This opens up the art market a bit. And then it allows sponsoring unsaleable works. I think of an artist who painted a mural on the wall of a factory about to be demolished. He cut the work into several plots, of which he sold the digital reproductions at reasonable prices”, says Charles Giulioli.
Parisian artist Albertine Meunier, who has long used the Internet as a “creative material”, is very optimistic about this new technology: “Before NFTs, there was no digital art market. It is a possible economic model for artists. This applies very well to the practice of visual arts and can allow the financing of its production. In my opinion, it will last”, considers the designer who has sold fifteen works in this way. She acknowledges, however, that it is “a long-term job to find a place on the platforms”
“In the end, the market wins”
Charles Giulioli knows something about this, he who has not yet managed to sell his Lines without digital impression calculation in NFT. After a few months of use, it is becoming more and more philosophically opposed to NFTs. By not hierarchizing the works, this new system could accentuate the current excesses of the art world: “For fifty years, the market has become extremely speculative. With cryptocurrencies and NFTs, speculation is within the reach of all exchanges. This brings the caricature to its climax”, judges the Occitan artist severely.
Enthusiasm for “low-quality works to the detriment of the work of more demanding artists”, “overvaluation of marketing and buzz”, the dangers are numerous for Toulousans: “It’s like the beginning of free radio or the Internet. We want to move towards maximum freedom, it seems that it starts well, but in the end it is the market that wins”, sums up Charles Giulioli. This seems to raise even more forcefully the big questions that have long preoccupied the art world: “What should art be in our society? Is it a good like any other? summarizes the Toulouse artist with the sense of his formula. NFT sales would have exceeded 9 billion dollars by the end of 2021.
In the image: Illustrative image of NFTs, these non-fungible tokens that guarantee the authenticity of a digital work. Credit: DR