Of late, there has been a global interest in Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in the art scene. NFTs are digital assets that represent real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos. They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptocurrencies.
This NFT-artosphere has become extremely profitable for those, who are already leveraging its myriad advantages. For instance, the most expensive NFT artwork in the world is Beeple’s Everydays: The 5000 days, which was sold for $69.3 million.
At this year’s Art X Lagos, in addition to the traditional art experience, organisers partnered with Superrare, a digital marketplace that trades NFTs, showcasing art on screens and giving patrons opportunity to witness art like never before.
Curated by Osinachi, the show attracted artists such as Niyi Okeowo, Linda Dounia and Youssef El Idrissi. Okeowo, a digital artist in Lagos, told The Guardian, “Not to sound political but NFTs are a way to sell your art freely, it’s a good way for an artist to finally get the deserved audience.”
On his experience at the fair, Okeowo said: “It was very good, the reception was great especially for an art fair that is primarily traditional. The feedback was great as well, people showed up, they asked questions; kids stopped by to ask questions, we had top CEO’s and curators stop by wanting to know more about NFTs. It felt nice to get equal love from ART X LAGOS as digital artists and I’m really grateful to them for giving us a platform and I hope next year there will be more digital art exhibited.”
According to the organisers, the NFT wave is taking the Nigerian art scene by storm.
“As West Africa’s first international art fair, ART X Lagos recognises the importance of contributing to the development of our rich burgeoning African digital art scene, and with this project we hope to provide a glimpse into the future of art-making and collection on the continent, whilst highlighting the enormous potential of NFTs in the development of Africa’s creative ecosystems,” a statement on their website read.
Founded by Tokini Peterside, Art X Lagos is a three-day contemporary art fair that has been held every year since 2016 in Lagos. It showcases and supports the breadth of contemporary art from Africans, both on the continent and in the diaspora.
The art fair draws an audience of local and international patrons, including curators, collectors and critics from all over.
This edition was a hybrid of a physical fair, which was held from November 4 to 7, and an online show, which is on till November 21.