Pak and Mario Testino: how Artists use Their .art Domain to Launch NFTs

Websites to buy and sell digital art exploded in popularity in recent months, and it appears to be the very beginning of a massive shift in the art market as a whole.

Notable artists in the traditional art world are increasingly embracing the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a tool to connect with the digitally native audience and securely sell their works. Similarly, the existing crypto artists are finding an increased demand for their work. They all share the space on the internet to tell their story, showcase the art, and communicate their announcements in a curated way. They find this space under the umbrella of the .art domain.

A single NFT represented 20 cubes.Source: Sotheby’s & Pak

April 12-14, we witnessed the digital artist Pak selling his NFT “The Fungible Collection” in cooperation with Sotheby’s auction house on the popular NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway. The collection of works fetched $16.8 Million in total. The open edition cubes raised $14 Million alone, rising in value every day ($500 on the first day, $1000 on the second and $1500 on the final day). In total, 3,080 unique buyers spent about $14 million on 23,598 cubes.

In parallel to the sale, Pak launched a crypto token called “ASH”. Users can acquire it by “burning”, i.e. effectively destroying, NFTs on the platform burn.art. The goal is that only ASH will be accepted as a payment method for Pak’s NFT collections in the future! Burn.art confronts NFT owners with the question of what is worth more to them: the digital artwork or the corresponding tokens? On the website, Pak describes it as an experiment “token of creation through destruction”.

While Pak has approached his .art domain as a platform to exchange NFTs for Ash, another famous artist has registered his domain to announce the NFT project – Mario Testino. 

Being one of the most sought-after photographers, Testino has photographed A-list stars throughout his career: supermodels, celebrities, athletes and artists – you name it! His upcoming NFT auctions are now revealed via mariotestino-nft.art: first took place 13 April with a drop of ‘Four iconic portraits reimagined’, featuring stars like Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen. The second collection is scheduled for 14 May, where collectors can acquire photographs from The Towel Series. The website reads that “A who’s who of contemporary culture” will be listed, including Kim Kardashian, Cristiano Ronaldo, Justin Bieber, Pharrell Williams, Britney Spears, and many more!

Mario Testino’s microsite for his NFT drop

The examples of Pak and Testino are among the hundreds of other names registered daily across the .art domain zone. Both the valuable ones such as Museums.art, NFT.art, trash.art, and personal names like kennyschachter.art or johnastew.art, are used to give a digital home for a business, to highlight a notable moment in one’s career, or serve as an e-business card with all the necessary social links in one place under a professional web address. The only downside is that there’s one of each (well, not as much of a downside if you’re the domain owner!). You can find your own .art name as well – right here.

 

.ART Team
.ART Team
members are global citizens with interests ranging from art history to social justice. If we had an office cat we would have called it Basquiat.