The explosion of NFTs in just the last few years has brought a tidal wave of disruption into the historically static world of fine art. What’s more, it has brought an entire generation of new art collectors (and indeed artists) into the fold. But what hasn’t materialized is a bridge that will bring together the traditional art world and the burgeoning industry of digital art. The metaverse could become that bridge as collectors and galleries explore how to bring some of the world’s rarest art pieces into the virtual realm.
ArtMeta is seeking to be that very bridge. They have developed the first metaverse for fine art, which provides a virtual world for galleries, dealers, and artists to display real-world digitized versions of timeless masterpieces. It could open up a new world of accessibility for people around the world to enjoy art and also bring a surge of digital art investors into the often inaccessible world of fine art.
Q&A with Roger Haas, Founder of ArtMeta
ArtMeta’s founder, Roger Haas, a former gallery director from Switzerland with a long track record as an art executive, sat down to give us a glimpse into what the metaverse could mean for the world of art.
Q: Can you give us a brief overview of what the ArtMeta experience is?
Roger Haas: ArtMeta is a metaverse dedicated to the fine arts. Not only can you see tokenized physical artworks in the highest possible quality, but the ArtMeta experience also takes you through the artist’s mind. In our metaverse, an artwork becomes a completely new experience, a part of its environment, a breathing organism, even a movement–something that comes to life and exists beyond 2D and even 3D. ArtMeta collaborates directly with artists and galleries to create never before seen spaces and experiences in the N-dimension, and best of all, we make this accessible to all.
More than the experience aspect of the metaverse, ArtMeta as a business is opening huge possibilities for galleries and private collections, providing a totally new model of exhibiting and selling important artworks, with NFTs serving as proof of ownership for these.
Q: Why has there previously not been collaboration between traditional art and the metaverse?
RH: The metaverse is a new concept that we at ArtMeta are pioneering. The idea has been represented in fine art, literature, film, and even video games for years, but incorporating blockchain technology takes this idea into a completely new realm.
The art world began to discover the NFT world around 2 years ago, but very few have started to participate. NFTs are evolving from their initial use case, and people are beginning to see the potential behind smart contract technology. We believe we’re still early–what NFTs will be used for is evolving, and by the time our metaverse becomes fully live to the public, we believe the world will be ready.
ArtMeta and its first-world Tchan-Zaca comes with a deep history. The idea was created about 12 years ago by Geneva-based acclaimed and award-winning artist Jonathan Delachaux. Delachaux was one of my artists at the time when I ran my own gallery in Zurich in the mid-2000s. I presented Delachaux’ work in the world’s major art fairs and managed to sell his work into important art collections and institutions around the world. Delachaux’ work is based on 2 main characters–their lives and their world. He wanted to create a place from them where they can exist with no bounds, this is how the idea of Tchan-Zaca, the main island of our metaverse came about.
Q: What are some of the ways this could change the future of how art is consumed and even traded?
RH: Art will not only be consumed in the traditional sense anymore. It will be participated in. The community will be engaged and involved with artists in a completely new and different way. Artworks will become ecosystems and complete movements in themselves, and artists will be at the forefront of this, earning a share of each and every sale and resale of their artwork in perpetuity.
Bringing blockchain technology into this allows for everyone to participate in fine art in a completely different way which was never possible before–with a real vested interest.
Blue-chip artwork ownership through fractionalization makes it mass-affordable for the first time–to own art as an investment, without the bureaucracy or paperwork that’s necessary in traditional acquisition.
Using cryptocurrency to purchase these artworks allows crypto-natives to buy real-world art investment assets without needing to convert their crypto back into fiat. NFTs serving as proof of ownership for these assets makes the buying process as easy as a few clicks.
This is the future. This is what we’re building.
Q: Could the metaverse be the future of the museum?
RH: Physical museums will always be necessary institutions. Nothing will replace the feeling of enjoying a masterpiece vividly, standing in its presence. The metaverse is a complementary experience, not a competitor. The metaverse opens new possibilities for creators as well as visitors, being open for and accessible to all, from wherever you are in the world.
The two combined provide ultimate access to culture.
Learn more about ArtMeta’s NFT guide here.