Contemporary artists create exclusive NFT art for new platform

In the last year alone, the explosive success of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) has left many in the contemporary artworld baffled to say the least. But is crypto-art really ushering a new age of creativity or does it simply lack substance?

A new NFT platform aims to settle this debate by introducing established contemporary artists to the digital space. Artwrld was co-founded by curator Nato Thompson, artist Walid Raad, and designer Josh Goldblum as a space for seasoned artists to create their first NFT-based projects.

We think that some of the most interesting, visionary artists—the artists that have the most to contribute to this space, who are doing work that’s incredibly relevant to this space—don’t have an easy way to onboard beyond tokenizing a pre-existing work,” commented Goldblum. 

Artwrld will also benefit nonprofit organisations, with fifty percent of sales going to creators, forty percent to the platform, and the remaining 10 percent to charities. The co-founders explained that “because NFTs have the potential to distribute funds automatically and in perpetuity whenever the art changes hands, artists can use their work to help build and sustain an art world they—and we—care about.”

Most mainstream NFT series, like CryptoPunks or Bored Ape Yacht Club, comprise of thousands of simple images, but Artwrld is only launching one of a kind NFT projects. The first project on the new crypto marketplace, called ‘Festival of Gratitude’ by co-founder Raad, includes a series of digital birthday cakes for a range of 20th-century rulers from across the globe. Its release, or “drop”, coincides with Frieze New York in May. Artwrld will donate a portion of the sale to ArteEast, a New York-based non-profit that supports Middle Eastern artists and arts organizations.

Co-founder Thompson added that “leading with really incredible, intelligent, thoughtful projects, doesn’t just help our artists and art world, it also helps the emerging field that is the digital art landscape.” Other prestigious contemporary artists commissioned to create exclusive NFT artworks for the platform include Yael Bartana, Mel Chin, and Jill Magid to name but a few.

We really have no interest in just taking people’s artwork and dumping it into a marketplace without any context or monetizing something that was created for a different format,” said Goldblum. “We want to create work that really takes advantage of what Web3 can do.”

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