Let's get physical: an exploration of NFTs with The ARX
London’s most exciting concept art space explains how the boom in crypto-art and Non-Fungible Tokens is evolving the world of luxury – and reality – for ever
The art world has changed for ever. While the increased digitisation of art has seen non-fungible tokens (NFTs) become the latest crypto-asset to excite the world’s ‘technorati’, it wasn’t until the gavel dropped on digital artist Beeple’s work The First 5,000 Days at a Christie’s auction in February that the world really sat up and took notice.
The work by Beeple (real name Mike Winkelmann), which depicts a new work of digital art made every day since 2007, sold for a record-breaking $69.3m (£48.9m) – making it the most expensive NFT ever sold and among the most expensive works ever sold by a living artist. The winning bid was, naturally, paid for in the cryptocurrency Ethereum.
For The ARX, a 'phygital' concept space that embodies where the future of art and luxury meet, it is no surprise that virtual worlds are proving just as important as physical spaces. Its goal, in fact, is to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual, bringing together elements of art, design, technology and architecture to curate the future of luxury living. All this while also championing the digital artists of the future.
Their current presentation, MINTED, comprises a series of unique digital artworks and rare collectibles by leading creators and digital artists such as MRE, Gala Mirissa and Nadiia Forkosh. Not only are their works available as NFTs, but collectors also have the opportunity to take home material works linked to the artworks, from Rolex timepieces to an iconic Overfinch Defender.
Two world firsts from The ARX, and their partner auction platform MakersPlace, include the sale of Forkosh's digital work alongside her original oil on canvas, and the auction of Mirissa's Audrey's Eyes alongside a signed print on 2 June, which sold at a record price for the artist.
The advancement of the blockchain technology behind the digital artistic revolution ensures NFTs can be marked with the artist’s digital proof of authenticity, as well as the same security that serves as the digital vault for global cryptocurrency reserves, meaning it is impossible to hack or cheat the system.
With this security established, artists are able to focus on creating in their virtual realms with the same confidence as they would have with their physical artworks. Equally, VR-minded HNWs are able to purchase plots of land in a digital world in the same way one would buy real estate, perfect for creating their virtual spaces and galleries, as well as outfitting virtual avatars and 'skins' employed in games and more.
The ARX’s founders say this rapid virtualisation will prove to be as significant of the Industrial Revolution, and have identified an opportunity to get ahead of the pack and futureproof their luxury concept by creating space for art enthusiasts and artist to interact and collaborate.
As well as its virtual gallery space, The ARX boasts a phenomenal phygital gallery at the Lux Group Holding’s 15,500sq ft Knightsbridge showroom. There, the Group’s brands – including bespoke kitchen and furniture designers Smallbones of Devizes and The ARX – provide clients with a truly bespoke shopping experience that epitomises their multi-reality approach.
For example, collectors can immerse themselves in a studio tour anywhere in the world, right from the comfort of Knightsbridge, via The Wall – the world’s largest 8K screen, by Samsung – which stands at 7.4m wide. As technology adapts at an ever-increasing pace, The ARX is already embracing – and leading – a cultural shift between the worlds of luxury, art and reality itself.
To find out more, buy NFT artworks or book a gallery appointment, visit: thearx.com