NFT art or an asset?

ByKate K2 May, 2021
The recent rise in art value over the two decades has made many question whether art has finally become an asset rather than being simply appreciated as a form art. Even David Rockefeller, whose art collection sold for more than $835 million in 2018, wrote in his Memoirs, “While we never bought paintings as an investment, our art collection has become one of my most valuable assets and represents a significant part of my personal wealth." The statement that art has now become more of an asset rather than simply being art has become even more interesting with the rise of this year's NFT mania, there has always been a tendency to view all art as valuable and something to be treated as an asset. To put it simply an asset is something that you know someone will buy from you sometime in the future for a certain amount of money. If you are reasonably confident in the price someone will pay in the future, you can use that asset in a number of different financial ways. In the eyes of many NFT art is often seen as something one can make a lot of money from, so that is when this intriguing question comes in; "once art becomes an asset, simply a way to make money, is it really art?". In other words once you look at art that has become an asset you may find it hard to view it as a piece of art and be fully able to appreciate its beauty, uniqueness, cultural and social ideas. Instead you just see the price someone is likely to pay for it. Wondering whether it will increase or decrease in value, you worry about its future price more than you enjoy the art itself. Financial assets are created to serve financial ends. Art is not. Gerhard Richter’s paintings are among the most valuable artworks in the world, yet he didn’t make them for that purpose. Richter paints to explore the ideas he has about art and aesthetics. Each new painting is a chance to work out those ideas until he feels he’s fully explored them or otherwise abandons them. Yet recently it seems as though the media is more focused on what price tag the art work has rather than the art itself, in fact with NFT art the ridiculous price tags are exactly what attracts the public and makes them interested in it. Essentially the recent interest in NFT art raises an interesting question: "does NFT art fuel the idea that art is nothing more than a financial investment, or is it revolutionising the art industry and expanding its reach to more people".
ByKate K2 May, 2021