August 5 2021 – NFTs are the “obvious future” of art and photography, says the director of a leading independent international art agency, as never-before-seen footage from Chris Cornell’s final photoshoot is sold as non-fungible tokens on Thursday.
The bold prediction from Stephen Howes, director of Thomas Crown Art, comes as The Last Session NFTs, which were taken from a photoshoot Cornell did with photographer Randall Slavin in 2017, not long before his death by suicide in May of that year, are auctioned via Cryptograph.
NFTs are digital collectibles that are encoded onto a blockchain – the same technology on which cryptocurrencies run – creating a unique digital watermark showing ownership and the digital rights to that collectible.
Stephen Howes comments: “The auction underscores once again that NFTs are the obvious future of art and photography.
“As our lives become increasingly digitalized it’s a natural progression that our art and photography will be digital. Does anyone seriously think that physical art and photography has much further to run?”
He continues: “If you need further proof, just look at the world’s major auction houses. There are nearly as many NFT auctions at these household name auctions houses as there are art sales.
“And with names like Damien Hirst jumping into the space the direction of travel is clear.
“I think we can say with certainty that skeptical NFT naysayers are placing themselves on the wrong side of history.”
Last month, Thomas Crown Art’s director said: “Those who knock the idea of art solely in digital form would have been those people who knocked the potential of the internet in the 90s and who would have said Amazon as an online retailer ‘won’t catch on’ in the 2000s.”
He was speaking as an artwork by famous British artist Adrian Chesterman, was launched on the Opensea NFT auction site. The digital-only piece, The Crypto Train, is expected to fetch more than $270,000.
“My mission was to create a visual metaphor which could bridge the historic distance between traditional monetary mechanisms, such as gold and coins, and the new virtual world of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum,” says Chesterman.
“I considered a locomotive to be the perfect vehicle to represent such a metaphysical journey, being as it is a land-based, fast-moving machine that relentlessly pushes in one direction…. forwards. A mechanical beast that is powerful, unstoppable, magnificent, man-made but inherently beautiful.”
He goes on to add: “Wealth and its material presentments, such as gold, coins, banknotes and crypto, are all functional solely by the consent of society.
“They have ‘value’ only by the fact we are all in agreement that they should have value as such.
“Therefore, cryptocurrency has the same effective value as any of the others, even gold which of course has no inherent value of its own. We imbued the monetary value upon it, same as banknotes, coins and crypto, by mutual consent.
“This is why the monetary representations contained within the image are semi-transparent and nebulous, here but not here, ethereal but real. For now, anyway.”
View The Crypto Train here.