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Laguna Beach

 Volume 14, Issue 42  |  May 27, 2022


Guest Column

Modern Art: NFTs create endless waves of artistic opportunities

By Sean Tiner

“NFTs” or “Non fungible tokens” have gained a lot of attention this year. In March, Christie’s sold a piece of aliens wearing hats by digital artist Beeple for $69.3 million. It was a record NFT sale at the time and launched this digital art medium into more of the mainstream vernacular. Additionally, “Crypto Punks,” the first NFT art series of 10,000 punk characters, which were originally given away for free, has amassed over $200+ million in combined sales!

If you’re confused by the new phenomena, let’s start by reviewing traditional art sales before we jump into the world of NFTs. In the traditional art world, an artist will create an art piece, such as a sculpture or painting, and sell it directly or through a gallery to a buyer. The artist will earn the current price of the piece and may pay a commission to a gallery if a buyer was procured. 

Modern art tower

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Submitted photo

(#12) The series features our community’s iconic Main Beach Lifeguard Tower and is limited to 51 original pieces, which is based on the last two numbers in our zip code 92651. Each NFT is one-of-a-kind and features a different shade of the “Laguna Beach” color (hexadecimal color code #86b9a8).

As an artist gains in popularity, his or her artwork may appreciate in value. However, as the artwork gains in value, the artist will not be able to earn additional income after the first sale of the original art. Only the current owner will receive payment if the work is sold again in the future. Additionally, artwork owners have to keep detailed records of the artwork’s authenticity, including any certificates of authenticity created by the artist or gallery. When a new buyer purchases the artwork, he or she may not have insight into how much the seller originally paid for the artwork or if any other offers were made on the artwork during the current ownership. 

Now, let’s jump over to NFTs. An NFT is a unique digital asset, such as a photo, video, or audio file hosted on the blockchain by a smart contract, which authenticates the uniqueness of the artwork. Unlike traditional art, such as a painting or sculpture, NFTs keep a digital record of every purchase and owner of the artwork as well as any offers that were ever made on the artwork. Additionally, artists can earn a defined recurring commission percentage for any future new sales. For example, if an NFT originally sold for $100, an artist can be paid 5 percent on future sales of the piece (i.e. $500 if the piece resells for $10,000). This allows an artist to continue to receive regular, recurring payments of future sales in perpetuity. 

Modern art Sean

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Submitted photo

Sean Tiner

NFTs also provide a historical overview of ownership and stats on its origin. For anyone who has ever collected a piece of artwork or sports collectible, such as a sports trading card, he or she will understand the challenge of knowing how many of a current series may exist. With NFTs, anyone can visit the blockchain to view the artwork and also see its date of origin, purchase price, and transaction history, including any offers that may have been accepted or declined. 

NFTs provide a myriad of opportunities for artists as well as collectors to realize. The implications are not only limited to the digital world, but transcend to the physical word. For example, a world-famous artist may create a series of paintings and choose to store them in a secure location for safekeeping or a new artwork owner may not want to take immediate ownership of an artwork, but still own it. In this case, a NFT could provide a record of ownership and rights to the stored painting. 

Modern art color variation

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Submitted photo

(#50) Color variations of #1, which is based on Laguna Beach’s hexadecimal color

As new opportunities continually emerge with NFTs and redefine the landscape of modern art, I thought it is important to share this technology with Laguna Beach. Our town’s culture is ingrained in various elements of the arts – 

from musicians to sculptures to painters to photographers. As our town aesthetically inspires the world, I created the “Laguna Beach” NFT series, the first NFT project centered around Laguna’s vibrant art community! The series features our community’s iconic Main Beach Lifeguard Tower and is limited to 51 original pieces, which is based on the last two numbers in our zip code 92651. Each NFT is one-of-a-kind and features a different shade of the “Laguna Beach” color (hexadecimal color code #86b9a8).

To see the “Laguna Beach” NFT series, click here. To create your own series and/or learn more, visit https://opensea.io.

Sean Tiner is a marketing professional and long-term Laguna Beach resident. He has been a two-time Sawdust artist and has a holiday palette in the city’s permanent art collection. For more about Sean Tiner, go to www.seantiner.com.

 

Lana Johnson, Editor - [email protected]

Tom Johnson, Publisher - [email protected]

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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