Tokenising artworks using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has become a global phenomenon as adoption and interest in blockchain technology continues to grow around the world, but not all blockchain protocols and NFT marketplaces offer the same utility. The BSV blockchain, thanks to its low transaction fees, high data throughput and native support for complex smart contracts offers the easiest and most efficient way to mint NFTs on a public blockchain.
That is why Todd Williamson, contemporary abstract painter and winner of the Pollock Krasner Foundation Prize for Creativity, has chosen to mint NFTs of his art through BullishArt – a curated NFT art marketplace built on the BSV blockchain. Williamson’s extensive career is filled with achievements, from the Icon Award to the Arte Non Stop International Film Festival’s Special Artist Recognition Award.
His work is the perfect fit for BullishArt’s curated NFT marketplace, which focuses on NFTs curated by experts across multiple blockchains, offering a platform that ensures authenticity and traceability for artists and collectors.
We spoke to Williamson about his experience with minting NFTs through BullishArt and what this new technology means for the future of art.
Discovering NFTs and BullishArt
Williamson’s first experience with NFTs was through the Ethereum blockchain, but after researching the topic, he found it much easier to use the BSV blockchain through the BullishArt platform.
‘I got into the NFTs because a client wanted to pay for some art using an Ethereum-based token. So, I had to teach myself what that even meant at the time, because this is about three years ago, and to be honest, I called my lawyer, I called other artists and I called people that were working with NFTs because there was so little that you could find online,’ he says.
‘Once the craze happened, I started doing it a little bit more research with a fervour because I wanted to make sure that I owned my name with all the different platforms and things like that. So, I just wanted to be ahead of the game.’
He is deeply impressed with the BSV ecosystem and the utility-centred projects that are being built on the BSV blockchain, such as BullishArt.
‘I like the idea that it’s on BSV. I’m a big supporter of BSV. I think it’s a fantastic platform and I like everyone that’s involved with it. It seems to be extraordinarily based in intelligence and I like that. I also love the idea that BullishArt is curating this in a very specific way with fine art in mind and working with fine artists because for a lot of artists, especially my age that have done nothing but paint or do shows, it’s very difficult to understand how all this works.’
‘I have minted on Foundation, I’ve minted on OpenSea, Rarible, on Crypto Art AI. And the thing that’s interesting for me is that I’m not super computer literate, so I have to really kind of work at getting this up, and some of them are so illogical in the way things happen. It’s not self-explanatory. And then for a lot of them, there’s no there’s no help line.’
‘It’s very nice to have BullishArt there to guide you through this process. With BullishArt, they also have the resumes of all the artists there, and there’s a discussion about the artist. There’s also press clips and things like this that they’re adding that most of the other platforms don’t do it all. That allows the curators to really get to know who the artist is.’
NFTs and the future of art
Williamson acknowledges the potential of tokenising and trading NFT artworks and notes that the digital distribution and viewing of artwork has been accelerated due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect that had on the traditional art world, especially on galleries.
‘Without a doubt, NFTs are here and they’re going to plough through a whole new way of doing business in the art world. And I think it will be a very good thing. I don’t think it’s a bad thing in any way.’
‘Inevitably this was what was going to happen no matter what, but Covid just pushed it forward by 10 years. And I think that in the art world, mid-career galleries have gone the wayside – they’re the ones that really suffer during this,’ he says.
‘The blue-chip galleries and now what they’re calling red-chip galleries and then emerging art galleries – those are the ones that survived and the rest of them have not. But every gallery I work with is still struggling to figure out what their path forward is and how they’re going to work with both the collector and the artist going forward.’
The act of tokenising Williamson’s artwork is a specialised and intensive process, especially as he views his NFT artwork as unique and new pieces based on his painted work.
‘The first few pieces I did, I took works that I had already completed and then I worked with a graphic artist to animate them, and then I also added sound because I’ve been really researching the effects of colour and sound,’ he says.
‘There are a lot of new studies that are coming out of MIT and Harvard on the healing effects of low frequency, sound and colour when they’re combined. So, I wanted my NFTs to kind of reflect this because over the past year and a half, I’ve been doing major colour field work.’
While it’s difficult to predict exactly how much the world of art trading and appreciation will change due to the advent of NFTs, Williamson is excited by the potential.
‘I think there’s a whole new market being developed as we speak for screens to show digital art, and I think that it’ll be a whole group of collectors that will have these very specialised high-def screens that just show the NFTs that they own. I mean, if, if, if I’m going to spend an enormous amount of money on a piece of art, I mean, I love to be able to show it on my phone, but I want to live with it too,’ he says.
‘I just love the fact that someone’s buying this digitised version of my art and it’ll live forever now. And I think that’s very cool. I think that eventually it’ll get to a place where I will be using NFTs not only as NFTs but also as certificates of authenticity for my bigger collectors that have pieces, and that’s a great way to do that.’
To view the full collection of Todd Williamson’s NFTs on BullishArt, visit the official website.