On sale this morning comes Frank Stella’s new NFTs with the right to print his art
Legendary painter, sculptor and printmaker Frank Stella is selling a set of NFTs that come with everything buyers need to 3D print one or more of the artist’s digital sculptures. The sale will be conducted through the Artist Rights Society’s (ARS) new digital platform, Arsnl. It opens today, September 22, at 10 EDT.
Stella is among the most recognized and historically important artists working today. He first came to prominence in the late 1950s with the series “Black Paintings”, a series of massive canvases decorated with black and white minimalist designs. Moving from painting to sculpture over the next few decades, Stella was one of the earliest artists to use digital tools such as CAD to design sculptures for the physical world.
The series on offer, “Geometries”, is the culmination of a thirty-year dialogue with calculations and a sixty-year exploration of painting and physical space. The series has 22 three-dimensional shapes rendered in white. Arsnl will sell 100 editions of 20 of the designs, which can be seen at arsnl.art, with a starting price of $1,000 for each edition. Two additional forms will be provided to purchasers purchasing a complete set.
Upon purchase, buyers will receive the NFT, which confirms that you are the owner of the geometry, as well as the file for the artwork in several formats, including JPG and MP4 for image and video display or viewing, SLS for 3D printing, GLB for model manipulation or use in virtual reality , and USDZ for Augmented Reality viewing. Purchase also comes with the right to 3D print the geometry – presumably at any scale and from any 3D printable material – and use it to create derivative works.
Founded in 1987, ARS is the premier copyright, licensing and monitoring organization for visual artists in the United States. It represents the intellectual property rights interests of more than 122,000 painters, sculptors, photographers, architects and other visual artists and the estates of visual artists around the world, with past and present members including Andy Warhol, Chloe Wise, Elizabeth Colomba, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O ‘Keeffe, Jenny Holzer, Pablo Picasso, Kenny Scharf and Mickalene Thomas, among others.
Arsnl is a new digital platform that guides artists and institutions through creating digital projects and ambitious works of art on the blockchain. ARS Vice President Katarina Feder founded Arsnl to provide technical and legal expertise to artists as they navigate the complex processes of NFT mining, promotion and licensing of their intellectual property on the blockchain. Upcoming projects include drops of NFTs from avant-garde artists including Leonora Carrington, LeRoy Neiman, and a collaboration between Quilters of Gee’s Bend and generative artist Anna Lucia.
For those unfamiliar with the technology, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are digital assets whose ownership is recorded on a decentralized digital ledger called the blockchain, the same technology that powers cryptocurrency. While many of the most famous (and lucrative) NFTs have been intertwined with subversive culture, in the art world, NFTs are typically used in two ways: NFTs can be linked to assets stored outside the blockchain, including digital assets, such as a graphic – or audio file, and objects in the physical world – a painting or a sculpture, a car or a bottle of whiskey – to confirm their authenticity. Alternatively, they can be linked to assets stored solely on the blockchain, such as the popular Cryptopunks or Art Blocks.
For creators and collectors of digital art alike, NFTs and blockchain technology have been monumental. Creators can now theoretically be compensated in the same way as traditional artists. And, like traditional art, the ability to verify authenticity has created an incredibly lucrative market for secondary sales of NFTs. A recent note published by Jefferies estimates the NFT market value at more than $35 billion by 2022, increasing to over $80 billion by 2025.
But a long-standing problem, both for digital and traditional art, is that secondary sales of art almost never benefit the artists who created them. History is full of stories of famous artists who died, while the sale of their art after humus at auction created millions of dollars in wealth.
Arsnl is trying to change this dynamic. For example, Geometries includes a 10% resale fee attached to each secondary sale in favor of the artist, with other fees associated with the sale of derivative works, such as physical prints.
“The vision for Arsnl is to carry the Artist Rights Society ethos of protection and promotion into the NFT and digital art space,” said Katarina Feder, Arsnl’s founder and CEO and a vice president and director of business development for ARS. “Arsnl will guide artists and partners through the creation of digital projects and artworks on the blockchain – while championing an artist-first policy, including embedded royalties and resale rights.”
The sale of the NFTs opens today, Sept. 22, on arsnl.art.