Fine Art Or NFTs. Which Should You Buy in 2022?
Find out who wins the battle of the arts
Since the birth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a civil war between fine art and digital art has been going on behind the scenes of mainstream media. It seems NFTs have stolen the spotlight from traditional art and are quickly catching up to the market share of the global fine arts market. In fact, according to Markets Insider the NFT space as of January 2022 is worth approximately $41 Billion, while the Fine Arts market stands at roughly $50 Billion. That is pretty insane considering the NFT market was only valued at $340 Million in 2020. So there is no doubt that this new space, which has basically already caught up with the fine arts, is going to continue to grow and pull in more investors as it hits the mainstream, but does that mean the age of the fine arts are finally over? Not necessarily.
In this article, both types of art will be explored so you can gauge which one deserves your hard-earned money more.
Fine Art Explained
The category of “fine arts” is a vague and general term. Most kinds of drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, and even cave drawings dating back to the Acheulian period (1.5 million years ago) qualify under this title. The fine arts are based mainly on aesthetics and beauty, in contrast to decorative arts and applied arts, which have a functional element to them.
For the purposes of this article, the primary focus will be on fine art paintings, usually sold in auctions by various well-known artists, that tend to appreciate in value over time.
While some art, can yield extraordinary returns over long periods of time, it is important to note that the vast majority will underperform simply by investing in traditional stocks and bonds. However, investing in fine arts provides you with other utility that goes beyond pecuniary benefits. One obvious one is that they can be used to furnish a home or office, which can even increase the value of the location. But physical fine art also is known to evoke certain neuromodulators such as dopamine and serotonin, which can give you a sense of pleasure and relaxation just by staring at it and appreciating its beauty. Evidently, there is still definitely a strong case to be made for why fine art still serves a purpose to the modern-day individual, and from an emotional standpoint, achieve things that NFTs may not be able to. But in the same breath, a very strong case can be made for NFTs, which brings us to our next point.
Now that we know what the fine arts are, let us take a quick look at a topic we previously covered in great detail, NFTs. It is important to note that NFTs have many sub-categories that are different from those under the fine arts. For example, you can purchase virtual land, digital trading cards, domain names, music, memberships, and other random collectibles as well as art that all count as being tokens that are non-fungible. For something to be non-fungible, that means that there is no other identical item on the market that can be interchanged with it and still be worth the same value. They are entirely unique just like a fine work of art like the Mona Lisa.
Now you may be wondering how purchasing a jpeg image file can be compared to the likes of buying a Mona Lisa, and this is where the blockchain comes in. Firstly, that jpeg you likely overpaid for, will get stored on a digital ledger that shows a transaction took place and that gives you a digital certificate that you own it. The NFT will then be sent to your digital wallet where you now own the intellectual property rights to that jpeg and you can now sell it for more money, use it as a verified profile picture on Twitter, or even display it in your digital art gallery in the metaverse. You get to decide because it belongs to you. The only thing you don't have is the ability to physically touch it, although there are ways to work around that now. So far we have covered what the fine arts are and what NFTs are but in the battle of the arts, which would win in 2022?
Fine Art Vs NFT ART
When evaluating whether the fine arts or NFT art is a better investment in 2022, there are numerous factors that must be addressed in order to fairly assess both arts and compare them to one another. Historically, artists would have to dedicate their entire lives to the pursuit of mastering a given discipline in the fine arts to earn a modest living. Even then, only a fraction would ever make the kind of money that would make such a difficult task worth the effort. Today, kids as young as 12 years old are selling their crayon scribbles of zoo animals as NFTs and making hundreds of thousands of dollars doing so. Therefore, in the age of NFTs, artistic talent is increasingly becoming less of a prerequisite to get access to the kind of money that makes it a worthwhile endeavor. So, in that regard, the fine arts may have more appeal to those who simply invest in art for their aesthetic and beauty of it.
For those who look at art for solely its monetary benefits, NFTs are much easier to flip because of marketplaces like opensea.io, where users have access to millions of people and a plethora of different art to choose from. Moreover, due to NFTs being digital, they are much more convenient to purchase, store and later liquidate into cryptocurrency than fine art. One can simply log onto a website with their digital wallet, click around for a piece they like, click a few buttons, and voila, they own it. Whereas purchasing valuable fine art usually requires bidding for them at auctions, and then putting in place all the security measures to store the art in a place that will preserve the piece safely, and finally when it comes to selling the piece, you most likely will need to use the services of a famous auction house, which will eat up a large chunk of the profits. With NFTs, you are also far more likely to double your money within 1 year than with the fine arts. The convenience of NFTs is a huge factor that is bringing a lot of first-time art collectors into this industry, however, the amount of money being made in this space is causing unsustainable hype and the entire space is likely a bubble on the brink of bursting.
That being said, as we spend more and more of our lives online and concepts such as living in the metaverse become more and more likely, NFT art is likely going to be around for the long-term and be held in exposition at digital art galleries and in the homes of people living in the metaverse. It is with this long-term vision in mind that gives NFT art a strong advantage in the battle of the arts.
The notion of creating art has evolved over the centuries. From the stone age cave drawings of our early ancestors to the medieval era, renaissance, contemporary, and now digital art. It is important to realize that what we are living through right now is a new precedent in art history that will be cited in the digital textbooks that you will be able to download into the chip implant in your brain 100 years from now. It is with this vision that the Arts DAO was created — to partake in creating and influencing the new age of creative expression, as well as bridging the gap between traditional and digital art.
To learn more about how you can join us in this journey, click this article.
Connect with Us
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Thank you for getting involved early in the Arts DAO journey. We are dedicating every moment we have to building and being part of the evolution of blockchain technology, the NFT space, and art more generally. We look forward to meeting with you either in one of our real-life events or elsewhere in the metaverse!