• Gary Vee’s New NFT Platform Is Designed for Fine Art and Opera

  • Gary Vaynerchuk, an investor and social media influencer, has quickly emerged as a major player in the NFT space, launching his own hand-drawn VeeFriends series—which will include an in-person conference in 2022—and collaborating with brands such as Budweiser and the US Open to get them involved with digital assets. He is now collaborating with a well-known fine art gallery to launch an NFT marketplace.

    The marketplace is called Art Official, and it is an Ethereum-based platform for digital artwork. It was created in collaboration with Vito Schnabel, a real-world gallerist with locations in New York and Switzerland, and Vaynerchuk’s VaynerNFT consultancy.

    The platform’s first offering is a collection of works by Italian contemporary artist Francesco Clemente, which marks his first foray into digital compositions. The winner of “Milarepa’s Dream,” which depicts a white flag piercing a heart, will also receive a live watercolor portrait session with Clemente, who has previously painted notable artists and public figures.

    The auction will also begin with NFT compositions from Clemente’s project “Our Backs to the Sea Far From Our Native Lands,” which includes music by influential composer and pianist Philip Glass. Those NFTs also include a live artist experience.

    An NFT functions as a deed of ownership to a verifiably scarce digital item, such as a painting, a video file, or something entirely different. In this case, Art Official is also including a live experience component in order to differentiate its offerings and generate more demand.

    “The partnership with Vito inspired me to launch an NFT marketplace for artwork because of the access to the extremely high-quality artists that we were going to be able to put on the platform,” Vaynerchuk told ULTCOIN365. “That was going to be a significant differentiator in the space. At the end of the day, Vito’s curatorial ability, combined with our ability to innovate on product offerings and strategy around art—and create demand for it—is a winning combination.”

    Later this fall, Art Official will release the “first opera NFT,” an original audiovisual work by Grammy-winning composer Mason Bates. NFTs will also be launched on the platform by Vito Schnabel Gallery artists such as Jordan Kerwick, Spencer Lewis, Robert Nava, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Julian Schnabel, and filmmaker Gus Van Sant.

    There are numerous marketplaces for buying and selling artwork in the NFT space. OpenSea, the leading marketplace with more than $3.4 billion in trading volume in August, is best known for secondary sales. Meanwhile, platforms such as SuperRare and Nifty Gateway specialize in curated NFT drops from a wide range of creators, including celebrities, digital artists, and others.

    According to Schnabel, Art Official will differentiate itself from the competition by focusing on the fine art world and being the first NFT marketplace from a well-established commercial art gallery. Furthermore, it is the first NFT art marketplace created in collaboration with Vaynerchuk, whom Schnabel referred to as “one of the visionaries of the NFT realm.”

    “In its forays into the realm of NFTs, the art world has thus far talked primarily to itself,” Schnabel said. “Our idea is to broaden the conversation significantly by speaking to the NFT universe that already exists and is bustling with activity, to speak the language of that universe, and to assist our artists in doing the same. Our goal is to provide fine artists with a pathway into that world.”

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