The platform, whose name is pronounced like the word “artificial,” launched on Friday with an auction of Francesco Clemente NFTs. Like other NFT enterprises, ArtOfficial will stage sales that sometimes come with added perks for buyers. In today’s auction, the buyer of Clemente’s Milarepa’s Dream (2021), an image of a heart pierced by a white flag, will be able to have their portrait painted by the artist within a year of purchase.
In the coming months, works by artists represented by Vito Schanbel’s gallery, such as Jordan Kerwick, Spencer Lewis, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Julian Schnabel, and Gus Van Sant, will be available, along with a few artists not represented by the Gallery.
Vaynerchuk and Schanbel developed the idea for ArtOfficial less than a year ago. “Within 30 or 40 minutes it was very clear that there was potentially an opportunity to provide exceptional value for top contemporary artists,” Vaynerchuk said. “We could provide a really strong NFT strategy for artists who are navigating this incredible shift in consumer behavior.”
Schanbel said that ArtOfficial is a place where works are not just sold but created. Describing the platform as “an extension of my gallery,” he added, “It’s not just a sales platform.”
ArtOfficial aims to foster artists’ creation of NFTs, and it’s not alone in that regard. NFT platforms like Foundation, OpenSea, and others offer curated selections of work from established and rising artists. Schnabel said that ArtOfficial is different from these in that it is “more selective than other platforms.”
ArtOfficial faces steep competition. In recent months, galleries like Pace have launched their own platforms with the aim of offering NFTs by the artists on their roster, while other enterprises like Christie’s are working with artists to create NFTs of their works. It is clear that more art world NFT platforms are coming, though whether the community that often dictates the value of these projects will come to embrace these enterprises remains to be seen.