What is non-fungible token art and how Musk’s girlfriend Grimes sold $6 million worth of it
We explore what this latest tech craze is
You may have heard of Canadian visual artist and musician Grimes because of her songs Oblivion or Genesis. Or it’s more likely, if you follow the tech world, you know her as the girlfriend of billionaire Elon Musk. This week the 32-year-old Grimes hit the headlines for selling almost $6 million (approximately 43,75,36,200 crores) worth of her art. And what’s interesting was that this was all non-fungible token (NFT) art - the latest buzzword in the tech industry.
What is NFT?
NFT is a special kind of technology or digital asset that is not exchangeable, and is unique and one-of-a-kind. If you own a NFT artwork or music, you are the only one that can own it, as opposed to another kind of digital asset like a Bitcoin, which you can exchange over the internet. So an NFT artwork can have complete ownership, just like real world canvas paintings such as Van Goghs or Picassos. Otherwise it is very difficult to have any ownership of digital art because of how easy it is to download and share it. So artists are making full use of this new tech and we are yet to see where it will go and what the full practical applications of it are.
State of the art
Grimes sold a new series of 10 paintings, which all boast her signature style of high fantasy meets sci-fi. The titles of the works are Earth, Mars and Death of The Old. Her art made $5.8 million in the sale. The artworks are part of a collection called WarNymph and feature motifs such as cherubs and the planet Mars. “Dropping NFTs tomorrow at 2pm EST. enter the void” Grimes tweeted on Feb 28. The art was auctioned off within 20 minutes of the sale going live. Newborn 2, an artwork featuring a baby on Mars sold for $2.5 million.
Meanwhlie, another popular artist who was in the news for NFT art is Beeple aka Mike Winklemann, who sold his art for $100,000.