Fine Wines, Russian Pin-Ups and Whitney — The Story of NFTs Continues
There’s no escaping it — NFTs (non-fungible tokens) look set to become increasingly pervasive in all areas of business and therefore life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as NFTs provide a potential new revenue stream for artists and creatives, from individual persons to global brands. For those still in the dark (and there are many), NFTs offer a way for musicians, artists, or anyone whose work can be digitized, to sell that digitized work as a limited-edition, or even a one-off product, directly to fans and collectors. These works come with a digital token which acts as proof of authenticity.
So what sort of products are available? Well, let’s take a look at some of the latest movers and shakers in the NFT world. First up, wine brand Robert Mondavi. Mondavi was an Italian immigrant, and one of the first to bring American wines to the world’s attention. Now, the company are offering exclusive NFT tokens created by artist Clay Heaton, with each piece linked to a physical porcelain bottle containing unique wine created by prominent names in the business. Crucially, these wines are only available through the NFT system.
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Elsewhere, photographer Marco Glaviano, the man credited with having the first digital photos published in American Vogue, is releasing a new collection of NFT images from his personal archive. Entitled “From Russia With Love,” the art takes inspiration from Glaviano’s 1972 photo-shoot in the Soviet Union — the first ever of its kind. Whether or not Glaviano’s photographs, which feature a mix of Russian pin-ups and kitsch designs with plenty of skin on display, rightfully belong to another era, there are sure to be plenty of takers
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Making sure that all of the senses are covered, the estate of Whitney Houston have also boarded the NFT train, offering up an collection of digital music which will include previously unreleased demo recordings made by Houston when she was just seventeen. These will go to a single winner, by auction, who will also receive a related artwork by Diana Sinclair.
These, of course, represent the high end of the market, and pose some interesting questions. Could we be in danger of emulating the physical art world, where some beautiful works end up in the hands of private collectors, never to be seen by the public at large? Do NFTs further add to the imbalance between the rich and the poor, offering the best available only to those with the most money? The answer, as with so many other things, is that it depends on how you use them. As I said before, NFTs can also be great for lesser-known brands, artists and musicians, to whom any new revenue opportunity will surely be welcome. It can be a boon for fans of the above, too, who could have the chance to own a unique work which makes them feel connected in a special way.
The (almost literal) bottom line is, for any musician, artist or company, big or small, the world of NFTs should be high on your list of outlets to explore. At its simplest, this new technology offers a method of selling limited-edition digital content (which, let’s face it, is no different to limited-edition physical content) at a price and quantity dictated by the creatives themselves.