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What Makes Great Rare Digital Art?

In a strange new world of blockchain kicks and crypto culture clash, one man stands poised to sort it out for the greater good.
Rare Digital Art Man by Joe Chiappetta

Rare Digital Art Man by Joe Chiappetta will soon be released as rare digital art in the pixEOS Gallery.

Along with a tribe of talented developers and entrepreneurs, I am part of a team that will soon be launching a rare digital art gallery on the EOS blockchain. It is called The Grand pixEOS Art Gallery. This will be a marketplace where creators of art can monetize their original artwork through a process called tokenization. That means an artist creates unique artwork and through the pixEOS market, uploads it to an online blockchain art gallery to be sold in exchange for cryptocurrency: in the case of the pixEOS gallery, artist will choose to sell their art in exchange for EOS tokens or PIXEOS tokens.

What art collectors actually buy when selecting rare digital art to collect is a unique cryptocurrency token that is specifically tied to that art image and can be resold on the blockchain and traded as determined by one owner at a time. Limited edition pieces can also be released, so prior to publication, each creator chooses whether to sell the art as a super rare edition of only 1 or in limited editions, such as 5 or 10 copies. Ownership and scarcity is uniquely verifiable on the blockchain.

This is a new movement in the arts that goes by a few different names: rare digital art, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and crypto-goods. On the Ethereum blockchain, my favorite marketplaces/communities to issue and collect rare digital art have already been up and running for over a year: MakersPlace and SuperRare. I am very active in those communities and have made good friends there too. EOS is a newer blockchain, and after over a year of development, the EOS community will also soon have the ability to participate in a similar full service professional rare digital art gallery experience.

In creating such a marketplace/gallery for rare digital art on the EOS blockchain, the community (of course) wants the art therein to be great--or at least really good and highly collectible. Yet there is no singular definition of great art; there never will be. The vast international and cultural diversity in the art community will ensure that not everyone will agree on what is great, or even appropriate. As the old saying goes, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Nevertheless, I do have in mind what I am looking for in the arts; I want to create a safe, inspiring place where people of all ages can appreciate and collect art without fear of harm or offense. Think of it as an inspiring shelter from the storm of life. Imagine a gallery where you can browse art with your young kids as well as your conservative grandmother and be continuously uplifted. I always appreciate the succinct and noble goal stated in Epidemics, an ancient Greek medical text: "to do good or to do no harm."

Doing good and/or not being harmful is a guiding principle I use in life, and it is also central to how curating art in the pixEOS Gallery will operate. I also believe that such a principle is at the core of what makes for really great, timeless art. To outline this further, below are a few practicals that support such a view of greatness, specifically in this new world of rare digital art. I encourage creators to use this list as a starting point as they assess which works they should (and should not) release as rare digital art.

Recipe for Great Rare Digital Art

  1. Art that you would actually spend your own money on if you were a budget-conscious collector.
  2. Art that is one of your best pieces if you had to pick your top ten pieces you ever completed.
  3. Art that is professionally photographed or scanned (as opposed to a dimly lit pencil drawing taken by a weak cell phone camera where the paper edges are not cropped properly and the white of the page shows up as medium gray tones).
  4. Art that is at least 1500 pixels wide.
  5. Art that is uniquely original, where no one else's copyrighted characters or intellectual properties are the main focus.
  6. Art that has not been--and will not be--tokenized anywhere else.
  7. Art that complies with the law and upholds to marketplace terms of service.
  8. Art that gets people thinking deeply, is inspiring, or makes people laugh without being rude, offensive, or discriminatory.
  9. Art that does not entice people to do evil.
  10. Art that has a spirit of purity: safe for viewing by children of all ages as well as engaging to adults.
  11. Art that is accompanied by a thoughtful description and/or title.
  12. Art that provides solutions--or at least awareness--for important matters.
  13. Art that communicates truth with grace.
  14. Art you'd be glad to exhibit in your family's front room.

I am sure there are more traits to mention, but these are just some to ponder for now. Such a place of refuge and insight is where I want to collect art, as well as release artworks of my own.

Together I believe we can all go there!

Joe Chiappetta

Portrait of Alon Goren

Portrait of Alon Goren is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta available as an edition of only 1 on MakersPlace

Portrait of Alon Goren is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta, available as an edition of only 1 on MakersPlace.

I drew this portrait of Alon Goren while he was speaking on a panel at the Crypto Invest Summit (CIS) in Los Angeles. Alon is a Founding Partner of Draper Goren Holm, Co-Founder of Ownera, CIS (re-branded as LA Blockchain Summit), Security Token Summit, LA Blockchain Week, and probably all sorts of other cool things. On and off the blockchain, he is definitely a fine fellow to know!

Alon's influence in the crypto space has been an entirely positive one and the world could benefit from more folks like him. The more you hear him talk, the more you realize that he is an insightful champion for tokenizing art on the blockchain and selling these digital assets as an innovative new paradigm for artists. I share his zeal to help people and bring economic opportunity to the masses, marking a bright new future. It is one of the reasons why I am very active with rare digital art markets like MakersPlace, SuperRare, Dada NYC, and pixEOS.

This rising of rare digital art has already gathered impressive market momentum. In the past, digital art has not been regarded as being collectible. While digital art has existed since the 1960s, it has traditionally been very difficult to monetize or verify its provenance in an immutable manner. Yet now there are solutions to these issues and it has begun to transform the art industry. This will create a whole new economy through blockchain technology.

The rare digital art industry is barely 4 years old. While still in the very earliest stages of growth, art is now being tokenized on the blockchain, and such art is also known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These art tokens are traded internationally and have real-world value, representing specific artworks. Their ownership history is also recorded on the blockchain, verifying digital item authenticity and guarding against fraud/counterfeit items.

Despite the newness of this industry, some rare digital art markets have reported weekly sales over $50,000 USD for many consecutive weeks, and these numbers are growing. In fact, by 2024, online art sales are collectively forecasted to be over $9 billion annually according to a Statista study. So stick around. Things are about to get even more interesting.

Joe Chiappetta

Crypto Paste

Crypto Paste is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta available on MakersPlace.

Crypto Paste is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta available as an edition of only 1 on MakersPlace.

Is it glue, or is it money? Yes to both!
The official glue of the financial revolution is finally here in all its blockchain glory. Crypto Paste is such a strong adhesive, you'll be stuck for life. 

Joe Chiappetta

Prescription: SoCal Hot Tub

Prescription SoCal Hot Tub is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta on MakersPlace
Prescription SoCal Hot Tub is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta, available on MakersPlace.
This conversation that my wife and I had some months ago continues to humor me to this day. Denise is not a comedian by trade. Yet by life, her sharp wit is highly impressive.

I drew this comic sitting in a chair next to the hot tub of our apartment complex in Pasadena while Denise enjoyed relaxing in the bubbly hot water. Later I colored and animated the scene. The side edges are intentionally left unfinished. Just as a partially colored drawing reveals the underbelly of artistic illusion, so too a profound statement can reveal the underbelly of life.

When a person is in a hot tub in any wonderful place like Southern California, on the surface it would be presumed that they are doing great. Yet of course, illusions are everywhere--especially in the shadow of Hollywood and the make-believe entertainment industry of LA. While a hot tub can be nice, and we should be grateful for such pleasantries, rarely is it a complete prescription for true health. However, that's a topic for deeper waters.

Joe Chiappetta

Preteen Action Pose

Preteen Action Pose by Joe Chiappetta is rare digital art available on MakersPlace

Preteen Action Pose by Joe Chiappetta is rare digital art available on MakersPlace.

More than a few times I have observed my children doing things that leave me slightly baffled. I’m often left wondering... why in the world are they doing what they are doing? There must be some hidden depth to it all. However much of the time, such wisdom escapes me; but not the humor of it. That usually remains.

Joe Chiappetta