Ignoring expert evaluation of digital art leads to chaos and bad investments

Endemic
6 min readJun 30, 2023

NFT purgatory: In order not to drown in a sea of garbage, the market is turning to the profession

Market platforms, auction houses, museums and galleries have embraced the NFT market and it will become indispensable, both for artists and collectors.

Today’s art consumer, that is, a mere observer, or an interested collector probing the heated NFT market, can easily be imagined as someone with a cloud over his head full of questions. First of all, they don’t know how much anything is worth. Not necessarily in the material sense, although for collectors it is a essence, but also in the usual sense, which, when it comes to art, we associate with something somewhat ethereal and closely related to emotions.

Let’s take a look at the imaginary bubble.

Let’s imagine an average collector. He may first ask himself whether, as in traditional art, art critics can help him with the valorization of NFT works. In other words, he is interested in how it is even possible to estimate the value of NFT works?

Let’s continue the series.

Does traditional art criticism have the necessary categorical apparatus for such an assessment? How are the various published works of NFT Art evaluated as expensive works of art? How to judge whether it is high or low art? Does anyone even listen to art critics when it comes to digital art and do they have anything meaningful to say?

You must have already come across the opinion that the NFT market is full of “junk”. But who sets himself up as an arbiter and takes it upon himself to say: “This is high and this is low art”?

These are just some of the questions that arise because the world of art plunges into it and critics completely new dimensions, which correlate with technology, science and artificial intelligence.

New technology, same evaluation system

The answers to all imaginary questions are actually simple because there is no particular difference between evaluating the value of digital and analog, i.e. traditional, art.

In traditional fine art, the issue of artistic arguments and rules is as complex as it can be in the digital realm. Arbiters of taste and value are gallery and museum institutions and auction houses. There are also exhibition curators who select the artist and influence the decision of the collector who invests his funds in something that the said “arbiters” have shown to be worth the investment. In assessing the value of a work, the aesthetic and conceptual idea of the assessed work is also important, whether it is a drawing, digital image, video, 3D art or something else.

There are also trends in the NFT market, hype is created around some artists, and there are also falls, which affects the prices in the sale of digital art. That range is huge — from, for example, $100 to $69 million, which is the last dizzying price for which the now famous “Goose” was sold.

The price of digital art depends on many factors: from the number of views, to current aesthetic standards and trends, but it seems to be far higher than what (living) authors of analog works of art can achieve at auctions.

The longevity of one’s data on the blockchain is also a possible factor. For example, Cryptopunks were sold at high prices precisely because of this “longevity”: they symbolize the very beginnings of NFTs, which is valuable in the eyes of collectors.

What makes an NFT valuable?

Market platforms, auction houses, museums and galleries have accepted the NFT market and it will become indispensable if an artist wants to sell his work at a high price. Understandably, well-known names have an advantage and will find it easier to sell their new works converted into NFTs for a high price.

Alongside the traditional renowned names, there is also a scene that lives a separate life. Self-taught “3D” artists who are used to sharing their works on NFT platforms are a kind of “niche” movement with their own aesthetic languages and values on the margins of culture. Because some forms of digital art have indeed been excluded from the art world or elitist institutions, these artists — especially those without the support of museums or galleries — are less willing to adapt their work to be sold in the contemporary art market.

They are firmly against the “establishment”, which will generate some value over time. And indeed, something interesting is happening here: these artists, and the Internet itself, are increasingly influencing changes in contemporary art in the NFT space. After all, since aesthetic trends change rapidly and constantly, it is not excluded that their works and the aesthetics they have worked on for so long will finally get a financial value.

Some new collectors

The prices of the vast majority of NTF sales should not be overestimated: more and more crypto wallets are participating in NFTs, in other words, the base of NFT collectors is wider, and now more works are being bought at lower prices. The profiles of NFT collectors also seem to have changed. They give visibility to an aesthetic previously absent from the traditional art world.

If the buyer resells the NFT, the artist automatically receives a percentage of the price paid. It’s a perpetual royalty, unlike any transaction in the traditional art world.

In the end, NFTs seem to have disrupted the entire market economy of art, as well as the notion of what is valuable, but it’s just that they’ve greatly democratized the entire scene, and that what’s valuable and what’s not the same or a similar way is determined by gallerists, curators, art critics and auction houses, as in the case of traditional art.

There is, however, one big difference, and that is the way in which works are sold: instead of exhibitions, today there are platforms, so for success, in addition to the undeniable quality, reputation, assessment of the value of the work, etc., the most important thing is to choose the “right one”.

Safe purchase with professional assistance

As the emergence of NFT and the democratization of art increases the number of NFT “homemade artists”, it is increasingly difficult for insufficiently informed collectors to discern what is good and valuable in the sea of everything.

In order not to make a cardinal mistake and invest your money in something with no realistic expected value (ever), it is recommended that you buy NFT works with professional assistance. If they want to buy real art, they should shop at exclusively curated marketplaces where artists sell their collections under the supervision of curators. This is precisely one of the reasons why Endemic was created.

Endemic marketplace is special for several reasons. Endemic collaborates with artists whose works belong exclusively to high-end art, and the first and most important condition for buying at Endemic is the artistic value of the work, i.e. the collection, when onboarding artists.

Artists on Endemic will be able to fully personalize their profile and create their own virtual exhibitions, so that the collector can better connect with the artist, the collection and the style of his work and decide whether he wants to buy art. If the work that the collector buys exists in physical form, it will automatically be owned by the collector, while the NFT will be a certificate of authenticity and ownership.

In addition to the mentioned advantages, Endemic also has elements of a social network. An artist can create his own community on his profile and communicate both with other artists and collectors, and an additional benefit is certainly the fact that Endemic is intersection of all art communities, which gives the artist a clear vision that precisely through Endemic he will encounter a multitude of interested parties and art lovers.

In conclusion, we should be honest and say that there is indeed a lot of “junk” on the NFT market, but the story is developing in the right direction, and the market is becoming more structured.

In order to purify the scene, it is extremely important to understand that the profession has the first and last word. We at Endemic know that
and that is precisely why we are home of curated digital art.

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