Leonardo covered the human condition like an expert. His rendition of the womb, for instance, looked like an opened horse-chestnut casing. Inside, everything about the beginning of life was laid bare. That was over five centuries ago, and the art still speaks to the wonder of human mystery. Artists like Leonardo have lived on in their work, influencing many generations after them.
History and art stretch back in time to the Renaissance where commissioned artworks made their way into the world’s vocabulary, asserting their power and proving their importance to human existence. Art, it is said, may not be necessary for life, but it is essential for meaning. Years later, artists would meet the limits of capitalism and have to navigate debates about the value of their work.
For a long time, the conversation shifted with philosophers trying to define parameters that can take art from a personal subject into a practice one could use to make money. As life would have it, many artists hardly made money from their artwork. Their pieces became valuable long after they died.
Blockchain and art
Technology has brought lows and highs to the art market. Last year, auction records were broken, paintings were shredded, and confidence levels wavered as social media changed the role of the artist in the industry. One of the notable changes revolved around blockchain whose introduction broadens transparency in the market. Additionally, the blockchain can help to track provenance and ownership and provide tokenization infrastructure.
There remain many unanswered questions in the blockchain and art world around regulation, governance, and standardization but stakeholders are interested in startups that aim to introduce new blockchain technologies to the market. One such project is Oxowns.art.
Somewhere along history, the value of art moved from being intrinsic to become financial and blockchain based platforms smoothen the process. Oxowns.art is where art meets blockchain. It is devoted to the purchase and sale of art.
The open-source ethereum platform allows visitors to check the current market value of a piece of art, to buy it and then to set a resale price. If another user on the platform matches their resale price, they get ownership, and the platform credits the seller’s account. The platform will not grant any digital assets or tokens; ownership is reflected merely by records of transactions.
According to the creator of Oxowns.art, ‘cryptocurrency is a lot like performance art,’ says Alexander Rafalovich. ‘Works of art can be valued differently beyond their intrinsic characteristics, whether they are political, economic or cultural.’ The mission, for Oxowns.art is to provide a solid grounding for valuing art – a blockchain for art.
‘Cryptocurrency does not pretend to look for intrinsic value,’ he says. Communities assign the currency’s value.
The art industry is now more than ever interested in technology. Last year saw many blockchain-related news articles in art publications. There were conferences including the Ethereal Summit that sought to emphasize the use of the blockchain for art.
At the same time, auction houses, for example, began exploring the blockchain. They started, for the first time, to wonder whether the world of art is ready for blockchain. Some auction houses made sales through the blockchain.
A platform like Oxowns.art that can track histories, archival materials, and provenance while still enabling the buyer to remain anonymous will go a long way to increase confidence. The platform overcomes traditional obstacles to artwork opening the doors to a new era of trust in authenticity and provenance.
However, since the blockchain is only as good as the data you input, Oxowns.art will have to prioritize the expansion of its database. That way, they can bring more dealers onboard.