For many ordinary people, owning a work of art by a famous artist was something inaccessible so far: because of the prohibitive prices, of course, but also because you need to be able to be part of the right circles, knowing the important auctions. Yet the way modern technologies are evolving is now offering a new possibility: holding an original NFT of a work of art, i.e. the only original and certified digital copy of that work, issued by the real owner of that artwork and whose uniqueness is guaranteed by the NFT concept, behind which the blockchain technology operates.
The concept of NFT is of relatively recent birth, so it may be normal that for many it is still an obscure concept. As a beginner guide, we suggest refer to our article:
In a nutshell: a NFT is a digital asset that exists in a single original version. It can be an image (therefore also a work of art), a music track, a domain, anything that may have a digital version. When created, it is tied to blockchain technology and can be purchased through cryptocurrencies. This ensures that there one only unique and original version of that NFT, created by that specific creator. Anyone who tries to “copy” it would be associated with a different blockchain signature, so it becomes easy to verify its non-authenticity. It is a market that is moving millions of dollars around the world, because some NFTs are so coveted that they are already worth a lot.
What does Banksy have to do with all this? A lot, actually. Because recently the owners of original works of art are starting to place the NFTs of those works on the market, and these can be purchased by anyone. This is what happened at the end of 2021 for the famous mural Love Is In The Air, currently in the possession of the famous art house Sotheby’s: one of the founders of Sotheby’s created the fascinating Particle project, whose mission is to acquire famous works and bring them into the digital world through NFTs, in order to allow users from all over the world to be the actual owners of that digital work, and to obtain rights related to online exhibitions and museums interested in showing that work. It is a particularly ambitious project, which could become a substantial trend in the coming months. And the first painting chosen to give life to this project is precisely this work by Banksy, acquired by Sotheby’s in 2021 for 12 million dollars, which therefore represents the first work of art by a recognized artist officially sold in the NFT version by the owner of that work.
The peculiarity of this NFT, which will become a standard in this type of purchase, is that the digital work is fragmented into a limited number of parts (particles, in fact), which can be purchased separately by potential buyers. Love Is In The Air is divided into 10,000 fragments, and their initial purchase price is $1,500 per fragment: a price within the reach of any collector or investor.
How can you buy Banksy’s Love Is In The Air NFT?
The official website of Banksy’s Love Is In The Air NFT is this:
As with many NFTs, there is a first phase of sale (the so-called “minting” phase) in which a buyer can purchase at an initial sale price, set by the creator, securing it before the official market for that NFT opens. For Banksy’s work, this phase ends at the end of February 2022. Once the minting phase is over, the easiest way to purchase a fragment of the work will be in the official Particle marketplace (which will go online in a few weeks) and in the secondary market Kalao, where the market of Love Is In The Air‘s fragments is always very active.
To buy, you need to become familiar with the world of cryptocurrencies. Generally speaking, the steps are:
- Create a Metamask wallet (the most used wallet for NFT purchases): you can do it from the official website, there is a smartphone app and a browser plugin that simply connects to the pages where NFTs are purchased. Follow the safety instructions carefully and do not share private data with anyone, of course, because anyone who logs into your account will also be able to sell your NFTs or transfer them to another account.
- Depositing funds in Avalanche cryptocurrency (AVAX): it’s one of the most popular cryptocurrencies for NFTs’ purchases. Metamask allows you to easily convert from Ethereum, but obviously it is possible to transfer AVAX directly from another wallet in your possession. For small purchases, the easiest way is to buy Ethereum directly from Metamask via credit card and convert them to AVAX internally. For bigger amounts, the credit card may not be the best way: the suggestion is to use an important cryptocurrency wallet such as Binance or Coinbase and take advantage of the possibility of depositing funds via wire transfer (it may take a few more days, but everything is done with the most advanced safety systems)
- Making the purchase: once your Metamask wallet contains sufficient AVAX funds, the purchase is possible through a simple click on Particle (if minting is still possible) or on Kalao (with the possibility of choosing which fragment you want to buy, looking at it on the main grid).
A detailed guide on how to perform each specific step is on the Particle website.
What do I own once the purchase has been made?
Once purchased, your fragment is visible in My Collection, with a clear indication of the fragment ID. You are therefore official owners of a fragment of the work, this can be proven on the official website and by anyone else, simply by consulting the public distributed data of the blockchain behind AVAX. In detail, you also own a certificate of originality, the bill of rights acquired with the purchase, a video collector card and other documents. The newly purchased fragment will already be visible on Kalao (obviously not for sale until you put it up for auction or set a price).
And for the more passionate users, on avaxrarity.com you can check how rare your fragment is: the most coveted are obviously those that make up the bouquet of flowers, the only colored part of the painting, whereas the least rare are those with a white background. The rarer it is, the more valuable that shard is. For a simple reference: until February 2022, the most important sale of a fragment of the work was this one, a colored fragment of the bouquet of flowers, exchanged in January 2022 for 500 AVAX, about 37,000 dollars, according to the valuation of that moment. Who sold it therefore sold at a price 25 times higher than what they bought, within 4 days.
How much will a Banksy particle be worth in the future?
That’s the question everyone is asking right now. As long as the minting is still active, there is still no answer, because the reference value of a fragment always remains the starting value sold by Particle (1500$). But once all the fragments have been sold, whoever wants to buy one will have to deal with the secondary market, and whoever sells will decide the price. In a few years, this will be remembered as the first true famous painting converted to NFT, followed by many others. The probability that collectors take a serious interest in these fragments is therefore quite high.