• ‘Cryptocurrency kiosk’ at Art Basel brings NFT into the mainstream

  • Art Basel is back, but not as we know it. One of the world’s most prestigious art fairs has adopted NFTs this week.The esteemed show presents a range of NFTs through Galerie Nagel Draxler.

    When you see NFTs pop up at ArtBasel, you know things have just gotten a little serious. It’s the first physical exhibition since before the big buzz, and while travel is still restricted in many parts of the world, that hasn’t stopped the big names in the art world.

    The art collectors who made the pilgrimage to Basel were long-time collectors with an interest in the latest trends. Reputable dealers like Matthew Brown and billionaires like Eugenio Lopez were among the clientele who came in search of works to add to their galleries and private collections.

    NFT is popping up everywhere.

    Right there, on the colorful, bright walls, was an exhibit aptly named the “Cryptocurrency Pavilion” where we found many NFT artists making headlines for their unique approach to art.

    Crypto Kiosk’s featured artists include Kevin Abosch, Luke Willis Thompson, Osinachi, DotPigeon and Olive Allen.

    Kevin is an Irish conceptual artist who likes to push the boundaries of identity and play with numbers. Luke Willis Thompson is a New Zealand artist with a primary focus on sculpture and film. With over 15 years of experience in the visual arts, Osinachi is now known as Africa’s foremost cryptocurrency artist.

    “It is shocking that only one gallery, Nigel Draxler, exhibited NFT’s work at Art Basel last week. As one of the artists exhibiting with them, I found myself in the middle of a conversation about whether the traditional art world has fully embraced NFT. That said, it wasn’t a conversation I found interesting. I showed work that I was told sold on the first day, and I didn’t really distinguish between my material and immaterial work.” Kevin Abosch said.

    DotPigeon is an artist based in Milan. His work is completely digital, using methods that are not digital. Oliver is a New York-based visual artist and pioneer of the NFT art scene.

    Draxler Gallery reportedly sold Olive Allen’s NFT on opening day for 8 ETH, about €25,000. a version of Anna Ridler’s “Mosaic Virus” sold for £20,000, while Kevin Abosch’s NFT sold for about €40,000 on a VIP collectors-only preview day.

    In true cryptocurrency style, Galerie Nagel Draxler (who houses the work inside Crypto Kiosk) will be accepting Ether (ETH) for the purchase of NFT at prices ranging from ETH1 to ETH40 (~$2,500-$100,000). The gallery’s online viewing room is also reserved for NFTs.

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