How web3 can help graffiti artists and unlock the value within street art
As humans, we like pushing barriers. We have projected our desires on the world around us at all times. We model our environments, and the environment, in turn, models us back. Through and within this loop, Art constantly impacts our lives.
Mural painting has been around for as long as walls existed. It is the manifestation of this human need to express oneself, regain control over the public space, and write the story of our own history!
What people call street art is the transformation of the simple concrete into an artistic material. It is the desire to overturn pre-established social codes and norms to temporarily offer society and posterity a more colorful and symbolic environment.
Is Urban Art valuable?
Urban Art has always been about giving. Giving yourself a field of expression as an artist, giving food for the soul to wanderers. It is a permanent silent dialogue between artists and authority that embellishes the walls and daily life of locals. It reprograms the very conception of a city and transforms sad gray into a remarkable contemporary and colorful mirror.
In most people’s minds, Urban Art has no value because it is free. The artwork could also disappear at any time, so it does not sound like an excellent financial investment. But if you look at everything free in this world, it does not mean valueless if no one paid for it.
Thinking objectively, we could try to quantify the cost of creation, years of training, time and material spent, fines, the artist’s popularity, location, historical significance, recognizability, impact on people, and so on.
We could also argue that Urban Art reflects a city’s cultural soul and bring positive value to municipalities in tourism, house pricing, and community gentrification. But thinking of Art as rational or through its ultimate utility is missing the point. Art valuation is never rational because passion and status are at their core.
As values account regarding our emotions, the contradiction between ephemeral and meaningful emphasizes beauty and instant appreciation. Free, accessible, and fascinating. It is this accessibility and vulnerability that make this type of Art priceless.
The window of hope that is Web3 & NFT
Web3 is the web of the future being built right now. Based on Blockchain technology, a decentralized public registry without a central control body, Web3 aims to recreate a shared truth and incorruptible trust in the digital kingdom of the Internet while opening doors to new virtual realities.
Web3 is where the unimaginable becomes possible. Like Art, these decentralized technologies allow the expression, dialogue, and questioning of the truth between many participants. There is no longer a need for a central authority to create and exchange in a purely digital manner.
Truth can now be programmed transparently; trust can flourish, and new possibilities can emerge.
That brings us to the nascent world of NFT or non-fungible tokens. NFT is to the Internet what canvas is to the art world. It brings a new certified medium and class of dynamic, rare, and programmable assets to the digital realm. NFT makes it possible to establish a public notion that never existed before on the Internet: ownership over digital property.
The symbiosis of both world
NFTs and Urban Art are at the beginning of a lasting love story. Singularly different at first glance, they are more than anything complementary. On many points, they have substantial similarities: Revolutionary, contemporary, democratic. Until recently rejected from the system and only appreciated by the few, Urban Art and NFT are both in their way, pushing the limit of what can be turned into Art.
NFT is nothing but another medium, one adapted to our digital streets. They help capture the story behind the artwork and establish a trusted provenance. Consider them as a certificate of authenticity and a piece of history.
NFT contain in them metadata: a unique, living trace of an artwork in a given moment, in a given place. It somehow extends the beauty and symbolism of the ephemeral by capturing its very existence and provenance.
It also gives to street and graffiti artists three transformative aspects that were never possible before:
- Ownership over their creation.
- The eternal memory of their artwork
- A liquid medium of exchange with their fans
Unlocking its value
Physical constraints make it extremely complicated to open the street art market in the same manner as any other art category. Unless you are Banksy, no one will remove an entire wall just to sell your artwork on the secondary art market later on.
That’s why Urban Art has never been properly valued until now. There has never been a way to collect these pieces from the public streets. NFT can change that as they capture the artistic intention of an urban artwork while substituting the wall as the medium.
By turning street art into an NFT (tokenizing), the artists immortalize it in a censorship-resistant way while reclaiming its ownership and Intellectual Property.
NFT through ownership makes digital property possible which in turn open a real market for these now scarce assets;
NFT is the medium of exchange and support that urban artists have been craving without knowing. It is the most technologically appropriate way to archive your work as its trace will live and remain forever on its blockchain. It can be easily sold across countries and platforms.
Urban Art on the blockchain is going to be bigger than 99% of the population. NFT is somehow the appropriation of the digital street by those who work on beautifying it.
NFT is to Urban Art what Urban Art is to the street: The art-propriation of the public space.
Internet is full of digital walls. It is time for graffiti artists to take them over.
NFT Marketplace: https://wallkanda.art/