Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt is a technology-driven entrepreneur and international art market and contemporary art expert in Central and Eastern Europe. For several years, until 2018, she was the executive director of the Vienna Contemporary Art Fair. She was named one of the 40 under 40 European influencers by Apollo magazine. She now lives in San Francisco and works on blockchain. Art, an innovative digital platform for gallerists, artists, and collectors.
Our project is scheduled to launch in February 2021 – there are five “streams” in total, and now we are testing the third of them together with the galleries. We try to effectively organize a contactless (touchless) sales process – this is what all major galleries are primarily interested in. Since our platform was conceived, the situation in the art market has changed significantly. Until recently, the industry treated such projects expectantly. However, those galleries and artists who deal only with digital art immediately appreciated the potential of the project. Over the past year, interest in it has grown a lot: and this is a necessity since the movement towards digital is predetermined by the situation itself – by artists who until now were represented only on Instagram.
The blockchain art platform is primarily focused on the professional art industry – large galleries, collectors, museum institutions, artists, and curators. The art world is ready to sell and buy digital art, and we provide a safe and efficient way to do so. The digitalization of art is becoming more and more pronounced, and more and more artists are creating digital works that need to be shown. All stages are important: certification and transparency of the whole process. Our private blockchain platform and its technology give the buyer confidence that he really owns this digital product and it will not be replicated elsewhere.
Representatives of the best galleries, collaborating with successful artists in the prime of their careers, testify that most of their pool of creators are also experimenting with digital. About two years ago, everyone began to seriously think about how to organize the process: certification and transparency. The main feature is to show the buyer that he really owns this product.
At that time, when I was heading large exhibitions, I saw that there was no hype about online sales in the field of art, but a different situation had already developed on the 1stdibs resource: for them, online sales made it possible to trade decor and design objects with the whole world at once.
Digitalization was making itself known more and more loudly, and against the background of the lockdown, everyone was faced with the fact that it is possible to show on a flat-screen not only digital works but also those real objects that people come to the gallery for. If before galleries and museums hoped for the physical presence of the viewer and the buyer, now everyone asks the question: if the client likes the work, what prevents him from loving it without the “third dimension”? The pandemic prompted the production of relevant content, and immediately there was a huge interest in digital art — the kind that was created in this way. In this case, both museums and galleries can issue rights much easier, and there are no restrictions on the physical presence of the buyer. The content did not lose quality during the demonstration, which turned out to be a big plus.
Some artists, like Thomas Webb, who works mainly with screen-based art, immediately felt the attention of gallery owners, since any gallery can show his exhibition online, on their website – and this is a fundamental point. , because the physical space of the gallery has always been sacred. However, if you do a physical exhibition with a young, Instagram-popular digital artist, it means hanging a large number of screens, and the opportunity cost of such an exhibition will be very high, but the online format solves these difficulties.
Thomas Webb (Thomas Webb), working with digital art
The main question: how to explain to the collector that it will be his work? How can the owner be sure of its authenticity and ownership? That the artist will not reproduce it in a certain amount (after all, copies will be identical to digital art)? Artists also have questions: if they were presented only on Instagram, and then a buyer appears – what to do in this case? Do not send a link to download a large file; is it likely that you will have to hire a lawyer to draw up a contract, and somehow manage the transfer? Until now, there is no such procedure that could automatically regulate this process. Everyone desperately needs a system where a request from the client can be easily processed. Actually, it is for gallerists who are looking for ways to sell digital art, and for artists who
Marianna (The Fairy Doll), 2014. Video installation (1 channel HD, surround sound);
13 sec, looped.
Edition of 6. Marian Goodman Gallery
I would like all industry participants to accept it as a kind of standard. Unique edition or Edition of 5 is a fundamental point. The collector must be sure that the work will not be replicated. Our platform provides an opportunity to opt for an original digital work instead of a replicated print by a well-known master. Two thousand dollars can always be spent on a beautiful contemporary and unique work.