05.06.22 Art Fairs,Artists,Events,Press

‘We’ve Seen a Huge Convergence’: NADA New York Dealers Are Catering to Collectors Who Want Both NFTs and Traditional Media

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Gallerists say there’s more than enough space for everything.

Annie Armstrong, May 6, 2022

 

It’s hard to believe, but it’s only been just over a year since Beeple’s explosive sale at Sotheby’s changed the genetic makeup of the art market as knew it.

Over the course of that year, a split has emerged between those in the art world that embrace web3 with aplomb, and those that have been forced to make peace with its presence.

That tension was on full display at this year’s New Art Dealers Alliance fair in New York, its first in the city since 2018. Inside, digital art blended seamlessly with traditional art—which is quite a feat.

 

Installation view of Jeremy Couillard’s Fuzz Dungeon (2021). Courtesy of Denny Dimin.

At first glance, Denny Dimin’s booth with works by Jeremy Couillard and Stephen Thorpe looks like it may have some kind of NFT component, due to its abundance of screens. But you know what happens when you assume.

“We thought of it as a counter to the NFT world,” Robert Dimin said of the gallery’s presentation, which included a video game by Couillar with paintings of old-school video game consoles by Thorpe.

“We like the interactiveness, where people get to actually physically touch and engage with the art world,” Dimin added.

If you buy Couillard’s piece, called Fuzz Dungeon, for $14,000, it comes with the physical computer that the artist built and specifically programmed. “It’s really designed as an object in the way that sculptors and painters think about objecthood,” Dimin said.

As of day one, the games had not yet sold, but two of Thorpe’s paintings had for $20,000 each.

On the total opposite end of the spectrum, Nino Mier’s booth had all but sold out, with one piece by Stefan Rinck saying it all. The work, Cryptohoarder, is a small stone sculpture with beady eyes clutching a money bag. It sold for $20,000.

Asked whether he would ever incorporate an NFT into his programming, Mier said, sarcastically, “I still don’t even know what an NFT is.”

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