Owning Physical Art Is So Yesterday

April 25, 2023

Like with any move away from the so-called traditional art movement, digital art has been criticized by art snobs for decades.

This lack of appreciation, however, is changing as we push deeper into the Digital Age and onboard the many Web 3.0 solutions and services.

Digital art is no longer a niche off-shoot of modern art, but rather a mainstream industry powered by serious collectors and famous artists. One could even make the case that owning digital art is far superior to owning its physical counterpart.

Getting Accepted As Art

Who really gets to decide what is or isn’t art?

Does the space within which a piece exists justify its status?

If it’s hanging in a gallery or a museum does that make it art?

Apparently so, according to those who purchased a replica of Duchamp’s urinal for close to $2 million in 2002. The original, presented in 1917, was intended to ridicule the very notion of art and the value placed on certain works.

Marcel Duchamp's Fountain
Marcel Duchamp's Fountain – nothing more than a urinal with a ‘meaningful’ label

Then we have the artwork of Piero Manzoni’s known as Artist’s Shit – yes, it is literally tin cans of the artist’s faeces. Not only are they displayed in museums around the world, but Sotheby’s auctioned off Tin 83 in 2008 for 124000 euros.

Artist's Shit by Piero Manzoni, 1961
Artist's Shit by Piero Manzoni, 1961

Based on these two examples, art is any activity which produces an object that is an expression of an idea. This frees up art to take on any form whether it be in the physical or non-physical world.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a look at why going digital is a more practical and lucrative option for private collectors and artists.

Digital Art Is A Bit Smaller

Physical artworks are big, clunky relics of the past and they take up way too much space. Transporting them is a logistical nightmare and when they’ve reached their destination, many of them are hung in a private home or worse, locked up in a Swiss bank vault. These sad pieces are denied the fulfilment of their primary purpose – to be seen and enjoyed by as many eyes as possible.

Digital art doesn’t need to be crammed into warehouses to make space for superior works. The art isn’t measured in kilograms, but rather kilobytes. You could store every artwork in the world on a single hard drive with room to spare. And if you want to transport them from one collector to another, it’s as easy as attaching an image to an email and pressing send.

At Cur8 we believe that all art should be on display and shared with everyone. We even keep track of how much viewing time a particular work has enjoyed. This metric is called the Total Display Time and is a feature of all the pictures on our platform.

Armchair Buying And Selling

Gone are the days of exhaustively wandering through the halls of galleries and attending stuffy auction houses all in the pursuit of acquiring paintings either for sheer enjoyment or as an investment option.

As a digital art connoisseur, you can browse digital galleries sitting in your underwear at home effortlessly clicking buy or sell when the mood strikes you.

Curate your own digital art collection in the Cur8 Gallery
Curate your own digital art collection in the Cur8 Gallery.

Building up a collection has never been simpler and with digital galleries like Cur8, you can curate your art in beautiful virtual galleries for all the world to see.

Going digital allows for a fully global and immediate art appreciation and acquisition experience. It frees you up, allowing you to put more of your attention where it matters most – on the art itself.

Digital Flex

As we spend more of our time online, digital clout is becoming a real thing.

Having a CryptoPunk, one of the first NFT collections on Ethereum, as your Twitter avatar is the digital equivalent of sporting a fat Rolex or cruising around in a Porsche.

The current floor price of a CryptoPunk is $400,000
The current floor price of a CryptoPunk is $400,000. That's quite the digital flex.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet was sold for over $2.9 million to a Malaysia-based businessman.

These digital artefacts are prized for their scarcity and the corresponding status that they project. And because it’s all digital, there are many more eyes on the prize than anything tangible you may own.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet
Scarcity is an expensive phenomenon.

The Beeple Effect

Back in 2020, the digital artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, created Crossroad. This ten second animated video clip showcases the massive figure of a dead and graffitied Donald Trump as passers-by stroll casually past without a glance.

This satirical piece on the US political situation garnered a cool $6.6 million at Nifty Gateway, an online cryptocurrency marketplace for digital art. Not bad for a piece of digital art.

In 2021, Christie’s really put Beeple on the map when Everydays- The First 5000 Days was auctioned for an incredible $69 million.

Beeple will upload new content to the digital artwork as the title suggests, every single day. In this way, the artwork becomes a living piece of both the past and the present.

This kind of innovation and creativity is, of course, only possible in the digital space.

Everydays - The First 5000 Days by Beeple
Everydays - The First 5000 Days by Beeple

Legitimizing Digital Art

Digital artists have been struggling in the shadows for too long and it is about time that their presence is felt and appreciated.

We at Cur8, not only recognise the contribution made to art by these digital maestros, we have developed the perfect virtual gallery to view and curate their art.

Whether you’re an artist looking to showcase your work, a serious aficionado or a collector looking for that artistic gem, Cur8 is the space for you.