So far, NFTs, at their core, have been rare collectibles or pieces of digitalized art that have very little contribution to the real world.
Until recently, only the elite stratum of society has been able to afford NFT and experience it, but there seems to finally be a good use for NFT as it helps preserve priceless street art.
What is street art? Is it the same as graffiti?
Street art is created on surfaces in public locations like sidewalks, overpasses, and the outside of buildings.
Earliest editions of street art
- Yes, there are certain similarities between street art and graffiti, which is why it frequently occurs in metropolitan areas. The purpose of street art is typically to express a message related to political or social commentary.
Humans have been drawn to leaving their mark on walls for thousands of years. In the city of Pompeii, graffiti has been discovered scrawled on walls. But when it comes to modern street art, we can trace its roots back to New York in the late 1960s when people began "tagging" or carving initials or a name on public property.
It also had its start with the graffiti artists of the 1970s and 1980s, who were searching for new locations to create art while reacting to and defying social norms. (1)
But how is street art different from graffiti?
Graffiti and street art often occur without the property owner's consent, raising the question of vandalism. However, street art has more ambitious ambitions than graffiti.
Therefore, one significant distinction between graffiti and street art is intent. Graffiti artists typically don't care about or intend for the general population to comprehend their work.
They communicate with others marking the same land or with a particular group of people. In contrast, street artists use the concepts and resources connected with graffiti to create artwork that makes a statement. Because they intend to elicit conversation and response, street artists want people to see their creations. (2)
The short life span of street art
Most of the time, street art isn’t legal. The act of painting or expressing political or social views on a piece of property without the owner’s or the government’s permission can be called vandalism.
Due to this, the glory of street art is often short-lived as it is erased or removed very quickly.
Street artists must obtain the property owner's permission before crafting street art. In this case, there should never be any legal issues associated with the piece being created.
However, artists should ensure the local governing body does not have laws prohibiting street art. (3)
Wait, what are NFTs again?
A digital asset known as an NFT represents a real-world item, such as artwork, music, in-game items, or films. They are regularly purchased and traded online in exchange for cryptocurrencies, and they are typically encoded using the same software as many other cryptocurrencies. (4)
NFTs have been around since 2014, but they are now becoming well-known since they are a common way to acquire and trade digital art. Since November 2017, $174 million has been spent on NFTs.
NFTs often have unique identification codes and are one of a kind or at least one of a very small run. NFTs essentially create digital scarcity,
Theoretically, if an asset is in demand, reducing its supply should increase its value.However, many NFTs, at least in the early going, have been digital works that have been securitized versions of digital artwork that has already circulated on Instagram or legendary video clips from NBA games.
How are NFTs helping preserve street art?
Street artists as individuals have never been as popular as artists of other genres simply because their art cannot be traded and has no monetary value.
By incorporating NFTs and blockchain technology into graffiti, freestyle, and street art, artists can immortalize their names, showcase their creations outside the streets, discover that their recognizable works are collected around the globe, and perhaps even give life to underserved populations.
“By scanning a mural and turning it into an NFT, we forever immortalize the art.” - Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith
Street artists are now being guided through the process of scanning their street art, tying it to a token, and selling it by businesses like Streeth and the NFT Mural Collective.
Artist Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith (aka Wolfe Pack) says,
"Buildings can crumble, weather can cause damage, and developments can impede views, By scanning a mural and turning it into an NFT, we forever immortalize the art. "
NFTs widen an artist's reach by targeting NFT fans, digital fans, crypto fans, and street art followers.
NFTs target an enormous audience, and this audience is only increasing day by day.
The best site to check out street art NFTs is opensea. (5)
The future of street art in the metaverse
The metaverse is nothing but a rendition of humans' dreams and aspirations for the real world. Everyone in the metaverse is different and is bound to have different views.
As street art started in the real world to express opinions and celebrate culture, we may soon have digital street art in the metaverse that users can explore at their own will. (6)
The potential of digital street art is amazing, and it is only another way for the metaverse to become more life-like.
Digitalizing street art as NFTs is only one aspect of preserving it. We will have street art in the Metaverse to express culture and opinions down the line.