Summer 2021 Editorial

Summer has arrived in New York with a mix of heat waves, torrential rains, humidity and the Covid-19 Delta variant. It is usually a quiet time for galleries, so we wait with trepidation to hear the news of which galleries have re-opened already, which will have closed for good, and how many new galleries will open for the first time. We talk to four artist-run galleries. It will also be interesting to see how the pandemic affected art sales. Anecdotally, we have heard that sales continued worldwide, and collectors have bought more in their domestic markets, with intel from Sebastien Aurillon in Taiwan.

NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens continue to dominate the art news. Are they good, bad, gone tomorrow or here to stay? Beeple sold his work for $69 million. Can anyone else? NFTs are electronic packets of data which contain information that makes them unique and non-replicable. They are held on digital ledgers called blockchains. What are the Pros and Cons? PROs: Artists can keep track of who owns their art and perhaps allow for royalties when their work is resold. It allows some artists to bypass traditional gatekeepers such as galleries, curators, and deal directly with collectors and buyers. The new format is creating a buzz which can only be good in a creative field. CONs: They can cost the artist anywhere from a few dollars to US$1000 to mint a new NFT, plus more to sell it. There are also less obvious costs in minting NFTs, in terms of power use and CO2 emissions. Volatility in terms of the new market could also be a big risk. We hear about ixshells who sold her work at an NFT auction for US$2 million. We look forward to seeing this new platform develop.

The Editors

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