Artists create NFT works that cannot be idealized in the physical world

Daniel Arsham has exhibited his sculptures, paintings and experimental installations in galleries and museums around the world. He has dabbled in architecture and fashion, directed films and collaborated with artists and brands such as Pharrell Williams, Dior, Pokémon and Porsche.

Additionally, he is the creative director of the National Basketball League (or NBA) Cleveland Cavaliers.

Given the variety of his famous work, the multidisciplinary artist only embraced the irreplaceable when he realized he could do something completely different with the format – something he couldn’t do with his work. The concept of a token (or NFT) publishing artwork. physical.

“Just the idea that it’s possible to own something digitally — I’m saying ‘oh, I want to be a part of it’ isn’t fun enough,'” Arsham told decrypt“Every time I enter a new industry, I want to make sure it offers me and my audience something impossible. [de ser proporcionado] in another medium. “

In 2019, brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, co-founders of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, introduced him to NFTs while visiting the artist’s New York studio.

The twins have acquired the Nifty Gateway marketplace and are trying to persuade mainstream artists to embrace the new medium – a process that has since been described as an “uphill battle”.

Arsham had heard of CryptoPunks (Ethereum influencer profile pictures) and thought about linking NFTs to physical artworks — but nothing immediately made sense.

However, Arsham was impressed by what one of the twins said: He can create digital artworks that change over time.

“I spent the next few months thinking about this idea: What can I really do with it?” said the artist.


In the future, this inspiration led to Erosion and Reformation, a series of digital sculptures by Arsham to be launched on Nifty Gateway in 2021.

Each 3D animation shows a sculpture—a bust, body, or car—as it wears and crumbles over time, before returning to its original form. Some pieces also change based on real-world seasons.

Now, he’s bringing together elements of his old NFT work on Ethereum​​ for the final release of the “Erosion and Performance” series on Nifty Gateway, which will be released on April 30th with 30 new tracks The inspiration for the work comes from the famous Hollywood movie.

There is also a special benefit for collectors who complete the full set.

Aershan’s main ambition

Like some of his sports art exhibitions, Arsham’s NFT work juxtaposes classical themes with elements of entertainment and pop culture.

He also plays with the concept of time in a way that his physical work can’t, which changes or evolves over a fixed period—such as the span of a day, or the length of a feature film.

The feature film is an example of the four works that make up the final sale of the Arsham series.

Each depicts an iconic car from a popular movie, rendered in a variety of digital materials, across different reliefs. Each NFT has a decay cycle for cars and background details (like statues) before starting to regenerate.

An artist’s new NFT image (Image: Daniel Arsham)

In NFT composites, the DeLorean from the Back to the Future saga – which has been reimagined as a degenerate form – is cast in digital stone and shown cruising on the dusty red surface of Mars.

Another NFT production shows a BMW E-30 from the movie Wall Street: Power and Greed (1997), which kicks up dust on the moon.

Other works show a Ferrari 250 GT California from the movie “Enjoy Life” (1986), in the jungle, and a 1968 Ford Mustang GT from the movie “Bulitt” (1968), in a narrow cityscape in the rain. .

Arsham said it was a “tremendous challenge” to capture how these cars looked and moved when they had unusual textures and moved in often unexpected places.

“When you see a car moving through a space, a lot of your interpretation of what it feels like is based on reflections and stuff like that,” he explained. “But these cars look like sculptures. They look like stones. made […]. This is a very interesting process. “

Arsham with his deteriorating DeLorean (Credit: Daniel Arsham)

Arsham said that while some might think of NFTs as simple, generative works of art — like many stereotypical profile photo projects on the market — it turns out that these animations take care of all the little details for him Very time consuming ensues.

“Creating these pieces was as complicated for me as creating a whole show, like the twists I had to go through to be perfect,” he told decrypt.

“The way the light hits this thing, the speed…literally, the way the dust falls on the lunar surface — they’re all key aspects of being able to feel them.”

build metaverse

The final sale will complete ten sets of “Erosion and Reform” series NFTs on Nifty Gateway. Another bonus for loyal collectors: The prize money for the 11th work will only be distributed to those with the full collection.

Arsham said the bonus work was not done, but it would be “something very special” and “bring it together in a way that I don’t believe people have. [perdem por esperar]”.

In the near future, who will get the bonus work will be determined through a “snapshot” of the holder’s wallet (recording the state of the blockchain at a particular block height), but enough in advance that fans can try to fill in the gaps as they go , obtain the remaining NFTs on the secondary market.

In addition to his original NFT project, Arsham will continue to interact with NFTs and the wider Web 3 industry.

He envisions launching his own private server (like on Discord) to kickstart his community of digital collectors, but he’s also excited about the creative possibilities of a future metaverse — mostly because of his experience in architecture.

“I’m starting to see things that don’t obey gravity, they’re on different scales, and nature can operate in ways that don’t obey the laws of the Earth,” Arsham explains about immersive creation in the Metaverse. “I think a lot of it is pretty amazing.”

In the real world, Arsham finds ways to bring digital flair to his physical work. In 2023, he plans to host a major museum exhibition, where he intends to present the entire “Erosion and Transformation” series of digital sculptures, while also thinking about how to make his next NFT art interactive, possibly on two planes.

“I believe the next [obras] Probably more to do with how we interact with them, in the space of the metaverse, or in the physical environment — how they re-enter the physical world,” Arsham said.

*Translated by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with permission Decrypt the website.

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