Sotheby’s is embracing NFTs through its latest on-chain Gen Art Program, recording sales on the Ethereum network. Developed in collaboration with Art Blocks, the program will showcase a collection of 500 distinct generative artworks created by algorithmic artist Vera Molnár. This unique series exhibits the seamless integration of letters as abstract forms, exemplifying the beauty of disorder.
According to Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s head of digital art and NFTs, all sales within the Gen Art Program will be conducted in ETH, marking a significant milestone as the first digital art auctions held on the blockchain. This decision aligns with their earlier transition to a fully on-chain metaverse in May, highlighting their dedication to exploring and embracing fully on-chain sale options.
Furthermore, the inaugural sale will follow a Dutch auction format, commencing with high prices that gradually decrease until the first offer is accepted, securing the lot. Sotheby’s views this approach as an opportunity to introduce new psychological dynamics into the auction process. For the Molnár sale, they have set the ceiling price for works at 20 ETH.
The achievements of Art Blocks’ collaborations and Sotheby’s successful NFT sales have laid the groundwork for the introduction of the Gen Art Program. This program is centered around long-form generative art driven by a central algorithm, with a primary goal of collaborating directly with top artists for new sales initiatives.
The art world’s increasing appreciation for generative art has caused a noticeable shift in focus from the technology driving it to the art’s inherent value. While blockchain technology played a prominent role in the past, creators and enthusiasts now place more emphasis on the distinctive artistic expressions crafted by algorithms.
For Vera Molnár, this development reflects years of exploration into how systems and computers can be harnessed to create art. It signifies a breakthrough in generating unique art forms through the controlled randomness of machine programming, further showcasing the essence and power of algorithms in artistic expression.