Until recently, the international art fair Art Basel held back nobly when it came to NFT art. Even last November, the topic of non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) played no role at Art Basel – only at Art Miami there were first small points of contact. But at this year’s edition of Art Basel (the fair took place in mid-June) a lot was under the sign of NFTs: panels, lectures and also some galleries, which presented well-known NFT artists such as Kenny Schachter or Kevin Abosch. So it seems that NFTs are slowly entering the mainstream of the art scene as well.
The latest craze at Art Basel
The international art collective SNGLR was founded in the summer of 2021.As part of the trade fair, NFT had also invited a number of partners from the NFT ecosystem to a party, which took place in the newly opened Rooftop Bar of Kaserne Basel. The security of the evening can attest to the fact that the interest was great, because from 21 o’clock only new guests were allowed upstairs if others left the event at the same time. The roof terrace was accordingly full, and so a dense crowd of an unmanageable number of NFT artists, collectors, but also art lovers, who just wanted to enjoy the informal exchange with the international NFT scene and found themselves in a good mood on the tower bar. The organizers Patrick Neuenschwander and Daniel Diemers from SNGLR.NFT were enthusiastic about the spontaneous mixing of NFT artists and collectors with people interested in art in general, “maybe even skeptics who just want to get a taste of it here and take a look into the future”.
Of course, the NFT artists are most pleased that NFT art is getting more and more attention and is now also becoming a daily talk at Art Basel. For example, Gretchen Andrew, a well-known NFT artist and digital native from New York, says:
“It’s a wonderful atmosphere when you can simply discuss the potential of NFTs without a stage and microphone. Most of the time I ask people: do you believe in the progress of the digitization of our society? If so, then look at NFTs. If not, give away your smartphone”.
NFT-Drop “sold in two minutes”
At the VIP Apéro (VIP for “very inspiring people”), several international artists also took the opportunity for an NFT drop. For example, Tessy Antony de Nassau launched an NFT collection on Makersplace with her fashion label Human Highness in collaboration with the internationally renowned artist Thomas Iser. ”When NFT meets fashion, it becomes interesting for a lot of people, ” says the Luxembourg-born and former princess. To this end, it executes:
“In our collection, you can also order an exclusive silk scarf from our label with the NFT at the same time, on which the motif of Thomas Iser is printed. But then there is only one piece of it. So you have something unique in the real world as well as in the metaverse.”
The internationally known artist couple Yehuda and Maya Devir (illustrator of the comic series “One of those days”) from Israel already has more than 9 million followers on social media, and came to Basel to make the first “pre-sale” of his new NFT collection and celebrate it with like-minded people from all over the world: “The atmosphere here is wonderful. Our NFT collection was already sold after two minutes and we met so many inspiring people here. For us it was a perfect start into the NFT world. And we’re just getting started!”
Kate Vass, one of the first gallery owners worldwide, who presented Cryptopunks by Larva Labs in her gallery in 2018, draws a positive overall conclusion from the Apéro:
“It has been a long road, but it is now the case that NFT has also arrived in the established art circles. A great development and even if the market is moving forward here in small steps, I see a broad integration over time.”