FRES Edition: The Prints & Multiples For The Blockchain Era

Apr 27, 2018 · 15 min read

“Inspired by Soho’s gallery history and the street culture of lower Manhattan, Abloh created a gallery space instead of a traditional store, one where you can touch — and buy, if you please — the art. Except, in this case, the art is a $2,982 bag with “Sculpture” written across it. For those on a budget, you can also walk away with a gallery brochure — free! — or leave a comment card in a submission box for the designer to read. The point is more about the experience of Off-White than it is shopping the season’s latest items.”

— Vogue Magazine

Em Pty Gallery, Off White’s NYC Mercer Street Store. All rights reserved by Off White.

Ever wonder why the products from high street fashion brands such as Supreme, Fear of God, Off White being sold at such high prices yet people still go crazy for them?

While the root is in art.

When a pair of shoes or a hoodie gets sold for $1500+, they are not simply commodities for their utility value, they are prints & multiples by the artists.

FRES Edition is the prints & multiples for the digital era.

FRES Edition is one of the key components of FRESCO; it is a digital asset offering system for the owner of artwork to issue multiple editions of artworks on blockchain.

To understand why this is crucial, let’s dig into two fundamental concepts in the art world, “Unique Artwork” and “Prints & Multiples’.

Unique Artwork

So what is “Unique Artwork”? While the unique artwork is sometimes also called the original artwork, means the artist only made one artwork of this exact pattern, hence this artwork unique and one-of-a-kind.

The $179.4 million Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger, the $100 million Andy Warhol’s Triple Elvis, the $58.4 million the Jeff Koon’s Orange Ballon dog, and your neighbor artist’s recent oil painting in his studio, are all considered as unique artworks.

Pablo Picasso, Les Femmes d’Alger. Oil on canvas, $179.4 Million.
Andy Warhol, Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster). Silkscreen ink and silver spray paint on canvas. $105.4 Million
Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Orange). Miirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, $58.4 million

Unique artworks can be expensive or cheap, some are for sale, and some are considered as national treasures by world-renowned art museums and organizations (think regarding Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or The Last Supper) that never will be available in the art market.

Vincent Van Gough, The Starry Night, Oil on canvas. Permanent collection at MOMA.

So, as long as there’s only one of this artwork in the world, it is unique.
And the golden rule for unique artwork is:

No matter level of the artist, whether he or she is a world-renowned name or an art school student or a street artist, his or her unique artwork is more expensive than his Prints & Multiples.

Prints & Multiples

So, what are ”Prints & Multiples”?

Here we quote Wikipedia, the people’s dictionary, since it’s nothing political related nor controversial and hence will be very accurate:

Artist’s multiple is a series of identical art objects produced or commissioned by artist according to his or her idea, usually a signed limited edition made specifically for selling.

Multiples have been called the most accessible and reasonably priced contemporary art on the market, value for money. They could be multiples of a 2D print, 3D sculpture or installation piece. The multiple offers artists a way of selling work without compromising their artistic integrity and makes their work accessible to a wider market.

JEFF KOONS (B. 1955)
Balloon Dog (Red)
metallic porcelain multiple, 2002, numbered 2139/2300 on the reverse, published by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Diameter: 10 ¼ in. (260 mm.) $10,000
Flowers (F. & S. II.6)
offset lithograph in colors, 1964, on wove paper, signed and dated in ball-point pen, from the edition of approximately 300, published by Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, framed. $15,000
Pan (B. 518; M. 111)
lithograph, 1948, on Arches, signed in pencil, numbered 11/50 (there were also 5 artist’s proofs), framed. $10,000

As you can see, not every single artwork from a world-renowned artist is going to worth millions. Some prints & multiples of the artist can worth hundreds of thousands, or even hundreds, depending on the edition size and dimensions of the artwork.

Edition size means the quantity, it indicates the number of prints & multiples this artist makes for this pattern. Dimensions means the physical size of the artwork, let it be 20in x 20in, or 5in x 5in etc.

It’s easy to understand dimension, and to better explain edition size, let’s use Pablo Picasso as an example.

If Picasso commissions a print studio and print 250 lithographs that contains the same pattern, then these 250 identical lithographs are edition size of 250.

PABLO PICASSO (1881–1973)
Portrait de Vollard I & III, from: La Suite Vollard
one aquatint and one etching, 1937, on Montval laid papers, watermarks Vollard and Picasso respectively, each signed in red crayon, from the edition of 250 (there was also an edition of fifty with wider margins), published by A. Vollard, Paris, 1939, the full sheets, deckle edges below, in very good condition, framed. GBP 9,375

If Picasso decides to commission the print studio to print out 2,000 identical papers, then these 2,000 identical lithographs are edition size of 2,000.

Pablo Picasso, Les Saltimbanques, from Souvenirs d’un collectionneur (B. 855; M. 285) lithograph, 1958, on Arches, from the edition of 2000 (there was also a signed edition of 100), published by A.C. Mazo, Paris, with full margins, very pale light-staining, otherwise in good condition. GBP 480

The Same thing for a sculptor, if he or she decides to make 100 editions, that means he or she will commission a factory or his or her studio to create 100 sculptures.

Sometimes the artist signs each edition, it will become a signed copy. If not signed, it will simply shown as “unsigned copy”. As you can feel signed copy by an artist is going to worth more than an unsigned copy.

Wait, are you saying that the prints & multiples are not actually printed or made by the artist?

Yes, an artist most of the time just provides the ideas, the works are done by a print studio/factory/his studio workers…The artist may choose to sign the prints or not sign the prints.

Why will people buy them? Are they in essence just papers or sculptures you buy from a factory or a shop?

Because it is a limited edition from an artist, period.

If the artist is world-renowned enough and all his or her unique artworks are in hot demand, then people go for the next best things, which are the limited prints & multiples.

If you buy a Mark Rothko poster at $20 from a museum, that is essentially an unlimited edition of the original Mark Rothko, because of the unlimited supply, it makes your poster $20, not $80 million.

The general rule is, the smaller the edition size, the more expensive the print & multiple will worth. Because a 5-edition Picasso Print means Picasso has decided that this print is 1/5 of the original unique pattern he created or idealized. And a 2000-edition Picasso Print means this prints is 1/2000 of the original Picasso work.

And contrary to most people’s perception, the Prints & Multiples market is a major component of the global art market. Because you don’t sell a $20 million painting on a daily basis, but you can sell a dozen $2000 Picasso prints in a day. That’s why most galleries, auction houses are “actively” promoting the sale of prints & multiples. Even mainstream media outlets such as Bloomberg has sensed the trend:

See we add the word “actively”? While it means that even though the galleries & auction houses have tried their best to promote Prints & Multiples, it has not reached its full potential.

Because the galleries & auction houses are still marketing to the existing art collecting population as the customer base, a group that is very limited in size and has owned a number of unique & multiple artworks, rather than expanding into the global population and let people know that they can spend $500 and buy an authentic artwork from Pablo Picasso.

That’s why the art market is facing a bottleneck, a lack of “transactional traffic” because after the financial crisis the mega artwork deals have been dying off drastically, the art market has not done an excellent job promoting art collecting to the general public, even though they tried very hard.

Admittedly, it is not the fault of galleries or auction houses, because even owning an artwork requires a lot of effort and hassle, especially on the transactional side. Logistics is a significant issue that prevents people from entering. For example, If you see this $2000 Picasso print in an online auction, the artwork itself is in New York City, but you are in London, even if you win the bid, the shipping fee is going to cost you a lot, sometimes more than half of the price you paid for the artwork. And you have to wait usually more than half a month to get it shipped because most artworks are shipped with great care and come in either a small or huge crates.

Even worse, if you are in a place that’s not a global metropolis like NYC or London, this process is going to take even longer until you can call that artwork your own.

FRES Edition

Now the question comes:

How can we grow the market, with the limitation of physical location and time when buying an artwork?

While for FRESCO, the solution is quite obvious:

We shatter the limitation of physical location and time with blockchain, just like how Prints & Multiples redefined the definition of artwork.

People spend $50 million or $500 for a Picasso unique work or print because all parties involved with this work, from the Picasso estate to the galleries to auction houses and previous collectors of this work all confirm that it is a Picasso’s work.

Now this Picasso work still has a physical medium that restraints it, let it be a paper (lithograph), a canvas ($$$ oil painting), or a pile of clay (ceramics), can we break through this physical medium, and get straight to the point that all parties involved confirming this artwork as Picasso’s?

If you are familiar with blockchain, you will immediately see how we can solve this. Simply imagine each artist, gallery, auction house, collector, museum as a blockchain wallet, and each artwork created by an artist is essentially a data generated by this specific artist’s wallet, and can be transferred to the next wallet, then to the next and next. With the perks of blockchain, we can shatter the limitation of time and space. As long as you can verify this data is from a gallery or auction house confirming that it is indeed from their blockchain wallet, which is almost like calling up this gallery or auction house asking for a proof of ownership & authentication (provenance), it makes this data like a print or multiple work by the artists.

It turns data into an artwork, because it comes from the artist.

Now read FRES Edition’s definition from our whitepaper:

What is FRES Edition:

FRES Edition is a digital-asset-offering system for the owner of an artwork to issue multiple editions of blockchain certificates. Each FRES Edition holder can gain profits from the appreciation of that edition when the FRES Trust of the original artwork increases.

FRES Edition Size:

The artwork’s owner decides the number of FRES Edition to issue based on their anticipation of the market potential. Once the FRES Editions are successfully issued, the number of the FRES Edition cannot be changed. Because FRES Edition is a blockchain certificate appearing only on FRESCO platform, resale of the artworks offline will not interfere with the number of the FRES Edition nor the appreciation of the FRES Edition. Each FRESCO user can buy more than one FRES Edition.

Issue FRES Editions:

The success of a FRES Edition issuance defines as a successful sale of all the FRES Editions in 24 hours. FRESCO platform will hold the authorized transaction from buyer to the owner before the attempted issuance ends. If all the FRES Editions of artwork have been sold in 24 hours, the held FRES Cash will transfer to issuer’s wallet. If all the FRES Editions of artwork have not been sold in 24 hours, the held FRES Cash will transfer back to buyers’ wallets. Each artwork can only issue FRES Editions successfully once. If the issuance fails, the owner of the artwork can re-issue FRES Editions any time in the future until it succeeds.

Add Value:

FRES Edition allows editions owners to actively promote the artwork and benefit from it directly. Each addition of FRES Cash to the artwork goes to its FRES Trust value. The value of each FRES Edition will simultaneously increase the dividend amount. For example, an artwork The Eagle with 200,000 FRES trust has 100 FRES Editions, and each of the FRES Edition worths 200,000/100 = 2,000 FRES Cash. If the holder of one FRES Edition adds 10,000 FRES Cash to The Eagle, then his FRES Edition and all the other 99 FRES Editions will appreciate in value and worth (200,000+10,000)/100 = 2100 FRES Cash. The increase in the FRES Trust from other nonedition holders will also lead to the appreciation of all editions.


The owners of FRES Edition have the freedom to trade his edition on FRESCO platform at a real-time price. For example, Tom wants to exchange his edition of “The Eagle” for FRES Cash. At the time, each of the edition worths 5,000 FRES Cash. Tom can list his edition on the FRESCO exchange platform for 5,000 FRES Cash. Once a buyer shows up, the transaction of the FRES Cash and edition’s ownership transfer will happen at once. FRES Edition Exchange (FEE): Once the transaction & resale of FRES Edition achieves a significant amount, FRESCO will release FRES Edition Exchange (FEE), a peer-to-peer exchange platform to for users to buy & sell FRES Editions, options trading will be available on FEE.

FRES Edition Exchange (FEE):

Once the transaction & resale of FRES Edition achieves a significant amount, FRESCO will release FRES Edition Exchange (FEE), a peer-to-peer exchange platform to for users to buy & sell FRES Editions, options trading will be available on FEE.

FRES Edition Physical Display Through 2D/3D Printing (*Proposed):

FRES Edition can be shown in real life using 3D printing technology. For an artwork holder, to upload an artwork to FRESCO platform requires him or her to not only provide detailed information about this artwork’s in text (things such as artist, medium, condition of the work, or anything in text the art holder feels comfortable to add), but also needs to provide at least three HD photos and at least one 60-second long HD video of the artwork.

So, if you buy FRES Edition from an artwork, essentially you can create a physical copy in real life using 2D or 3D printing if the art holder’s photos & videos of that artwork is high quality enough.

But we will not ruin the integrity of the original artwork, each FRES Edition’s printed physical copy of that artwork will contain a QR code at the corner of the painting. This not only protects the original artwork’s integrity, but also give a FRES Edition holder a very solid bragging rights that he is indeed that this artwork print he hang at his home is not something he bought from a local gift shop, but actually a FRES Edition of a world-class museum’s masterpiece, and his friends can verify his words by scanning that QR code on the painting to see if that FRES Edition data is indeed owned by his FRESCO wallet and can trace back to the museum’s FRESCO wallet.

If you get down to the essence, even the physical medium of that artwork you printed using your FRES Edition does not matter, it can be a high-quality paper or a fine canvas or a regular one, what matters is that you are the owner of that FRES Edition, you are a part owner of that museum masterpiece on blockchain.

Currently people can only take photos with the museum masterpiece.
With FRES Edition, you can print your FRES Edition, display it in your physical space and be a proud part owner of a museum masterpiece on blockchain.

For Museums, Art Fairs, Artists & Beyond

This is something inspiring we want to share with you guys, because this what we mean with FRES Edition, we can change the entire art world’s engagement model. Right now people go to a museum or a nonprofit foundation, due to their philanthropic nature, no matter how much money you have, you can only take photos with a Da Vinci or a Monet because they may be the museum’s permanent collection, something will never go for sale.

Right now the museums also want to be more open to the public, they want to increase its foot traffic, they want more people to come and see the collected artworks which will attract more public and corporate donations. If a museum fails to attract enough visitors, it will receive limited funding and either forced to close down or sell their precious collections.

With FRES Edition, you can potentially own a FRES Edition of that Da Vinci or Monet, essentially showing that you are a part owner of this artwork on blockchain. And the museum will be happy to do so because through the issue of FRES Edition they can raise a significant amount of FRESCO tokens (FRES Cash) without hurting the integrity of the physical Da Vinci or Monet.

Similar logic for art fairs and galleries where they want to create exposures for artists to drive more sales commercially, with FRES Edition, people will run to an art fair or a gallery in hope to get their hands on the FRES Editions of a noted artist’s physical artwork. Even though they can do it entirely online, they will choose to experience the artworks they partly own on blockchain or explore new potential artworks.

Because people become more engaged if they have a stake in art, if they feel attached to art, rather than just being a spectator of art.

Now apply the FRES Edition logic to an artist, whether world-renowned or emerging, it allows an artist to release FRES Edition of his or her finished artwork without hurting the physical sale of the physical artwork, and through this FRES Edition offering process the artist can raise enough FRESCO tokens to use on his or her next art project.

Furthermore, if you have experience buying art you know that as an art holder, most of the time you are passively waiting, waiting for the auction price of a similar work like the one you have to reach a higher price in the market. With FRES Edition, we turn the appreciation of the artwork from a passively waiting process into an active process. You can add FRESCO tokens to the unique artwork on FRESCO, while increasing your FRES Edition’s worth. Just like if a Picasso’s oil painting of a bird reaches a record high, then his bird-related prints will also reach new high prices but divided by the number of editions of those bird prints.

FRESCO Edition will literally create a whole new realm of art collecting, an art asset that transcends space and time, helps expand art market globally while keeping everyone in the art world happy.


FRESCO Whitepaper:

FRESCO Twitter:

FRESCO Telegram Community Talk:

FRESCO Telegram Announcement Channel:


FRESCO is the world's first blockchain art asset network.

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