It’s a dream many of us have, standing back to appreciate a newly-hung Damien Hirst on our living room wall while a Jeff Koons sculpture is lit up in the corner. Yet the reality of being a modern collector (of major) artworks is often an anonymous purchase made at auction, before those pieces are locked safely away in a bank vault, left to accrue dust – and, most importantly – value.
Which is a great shame, because on the whole once an artwork enters the private realm – as did Hockney’s ‘The Splash’, sold last month at auction – there it stays, and with it, our ability to enjoy the work. Yet Gallerist Elio D’Anna and commodities trader Gijs de Viet have come up with a solution to both problems: the ability to buy a masterpiece that still lives in the public eye.
▲ Banksy – Very Little Helps / George Condo – Droopy Dog
In a market renowned for tradition, the rule book has been thoroughly ripped up. ARTCELS is the first asset-based contemporary art digital platform, and it is changing the way we invest in art, modernising the process to be more in line with the very digital lives we now live. By buying equity in artworks via digital ‘tokens’ – which are backed by shares in works as registered assets – it is a genius, alternative way of investing that caters towards the tech-savvy investor. With shares in blue-chip contemporary art starting at c. €450, owning a Damien Hirst may no longer just be the stuff of dreams.
But what of the art? Investing for monetary gain is all well and good, but those digital investments also bring with it the added kudos of being able to attend exclusive events throughout the year across the globe where the art will be on display. Having the ability to walk through an exhibition, point at a painting and say “that’s mine”… where do we sign up?
▲ left: KAWS – Companion / up: Daniel Arsham – Future Relic 09 Keyboard / down left: Damien Hirst – Spin Heart / down right: Jeff Koons – Red Rabbit
The first of these exhibitions took place in late February at Mayfair’s HOFA Gallery, where ARTCELS hosted ‘XXI’. On display were works by Banksy, KAWS, Damien Hirst, George Condo, and Jeff Koons, among others, that prospective investors could choose to make a sole acquisition of, or start to invest in a diverse portfolio by buying shares in multiple works.
Even the risk of investing has been given a techy makeover; Swiss-based 4Art-Technologies has collaborated with ARTCELS to generate digital signatures to provide authentication, while Assetyze has provided a blockchain-based solution to create a secure digital token to prove the existence of each token. An injection of transparency into the industry will surely be a celebrated change.
Exhibitions are already planned to take place in Los Angeles and Shanghai, with ten more by 2022. Who will you invest in?
Due to the overwhelming demand, ARTCELS will be releasing more shares (400 in total) on 1st May 2020. The official next exhibition date of ‘XXI’ will be at HOFA Gallery in Mykonos Town from May 2020.