NFTs are taking the same hit that many growth investments are suffering from in what’s been a belt-tightening 2022. Despite a cooler market, collectors have still injected over $37 billion into NFT marketplaces as of May 1, putting revenue on pace to beat the 2021 total of $40 billion. As is true of most infants, it’s a volatile market where platform drops continue to spike the market. Bored Ape Yacht Club’s offer to morph avatars into multiplayer, Monopoly-Esque game characters, for example, raised about $285 million in cryptocurrency.
From music to visual work, artists continue to flock to blockchain to securitize work and access new eyes. Now, with the opening of the Click platform, NFT sales will not only be offered as unique investments but as a way to support and preserve undiscovered past and future artwork.
Each Click drop will serve as a testament to Click’s partner work with artists, estates, foundations, and museums to fund future artworks, public programs, exhibitions, restorations, and publications through NFT proceeds. In turn, these digital collectible sales will help to unearth never-before-seen art, video, letters, photos, and artwork from culture-defining artists and to digitize their posthumous work.
“Without this effort/project, this work could be lost forever,” Click co-founder Billy Folchetti said in a conversation with The Manual. “It’s like a top-secret adventure. It’s about telling a really great story through the use of NFTs and blockchain.”
Click is on a mission to at once uncover and digitally conserve significant artist works while celebrating these artists’ inspiration with themed NFT drops. Take renowned contemporary sculptor John Chamberlain, for instance. Click co-founder Alexandra Fairweather is a director of Chamberlain’s estate, working to keep his unique vision alive for its community through digitizing Chamberlain’s work while mining for hidden veins.
“What we are talking about is finding archives of never before seen artworks and personal objects of these estates,” Folchetti said. “It’s like going on a treasure hunt, opening a 10,000 sq. ft. space haven’t seen the light of day in 20 years. You’ll come across, things you’d never guess. We want our followers to feel that too.”
Click’s audience can range from art aficionados and very serious collectors to a younger generation attracted to a new aesthetic speaking in a universally-curated manner.
“It’s not just about making money. Part it is telling history, part of it is doing good, and part this is about beautiful, significant NFTs,” Folchetti said.
Click collectors will not only purchase a digital piece of art, but founders plan to include physical specimens with purchases. Its (Dis)integration drop, for example, is shaped around Chamberlain’s work that describes the car, a preeminent symbol of American industry, in disintegration. Inspired by discarded cassette tapes left behind in abandoned automobiles, buyers will receive a cassette that uncovers ideas behind the art series and the lost history the show uncovers.
“Small pieces that make a part of the bigger story that allows people to stay intrigued,” Folchetti.
In addition to access to exclusive arts and culture openings, Click participants will get access to programming like VIP events and collector-specific Discord groups. Buyers of The (Dis)integration NFT (the next Click drop) will also get select entry to upcoming Click openings and events for 12 months following purchase.
Each NFT release will also include its own traditional art opening even though most of the work will be digital.
“Each drop will have a 30 to 45-day window for an entire solo show for each artist,” Folchetti said. “It’s a place to shop, but also an educational destination. There will be lots of focus on questions and answers with individuals who worked and were friends with artists. A fundamental part of institutions is getting behind the canvas.”
Though Click is headquartered in New York City, the group is aligning with art and cultural institutions across the country and working to offer all types of different experiences for its community.
“NFT drops will normally be at the artist’s museum, but many Click-oriented projects are not specific to an artist or museum,” Folchetti said. “We’re figuring out a way to be inclusive to access people where they are. We hope that as we expand, our group of partners will expand geographically.”
Towards Click’s drive to finance future projects, 20% of proceeds will benefit Art21, a New York City “nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring a more creative world through the works and words of contemporary artists.”
“Art21 is forward-thinking and inclusive, so it’s a great natural choice for us,” Folchetti said. “There’s a great synergy there in being able to support new artists and new generations and people who don’t have their name yet.”
Click projects down the road will support other, likely local arts groups to foster a new generation of art creators. This intertwines Click founders’ aim to build a diverse collection of cultural enthusiasts who can all have a hand in keeping art vital.
“It’s about generating revenue streams for artists and estates in a modern, sexy way. Younger generations are losing valuable pieces of history and art’s story,” Folchetti said. “NFTs give us the ability to tell (stories) on the blockchain and put it in front of the younger generation in a more subliminal way.”
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