New York…Vito Schnabel, Founder and Principal of Vito Schnabel Gallery, announced today that the gallery has collaborated with Gary Vaynerchuk, Chairman of VaynerX, CEO and Creator of VeeFriends and CEO of VaynerNFT, to launch ArtOfficial, an online platform to exhibit and sell original works by foremost artists exploring new mediums, including digital artworks and NFTs.
The first wholly independent online auction platform created and operated by a commercial gallery, ArtOfficial’s name plays upon the word ‘artificial’, suggesting a challenge to entrenched hierarchies that have long privileged painting and sculpture over the many other experimental forms of expression embraced by contemporary artists. ArtOfficial aims to broaden the experience of digital art and make its acquisition more accessible and transparent for the public.
ArtOfficial was developed by Vito Schnabel with the support of Gary Vaynerchuk and AJ Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerSports and Co-Founder of VaynerFund. Owen Laub is Director of ArtOfficial, overseeing the platform’s daily operations.
ArtOfficial launched at 9AM EST today, Friday, September 24, 2021, with its first auction of NFTs for original digital works created by renowned visual artist Francesco Clemente (b. Naples, Italy, 1952). Open for bidding through October 4 at www.artofficial.com, this auction offers four unique NFTs, the first such digital works ever created by Clemente, who came to prominence in the late 1970s and cemented a global reputation with his participation in the 39th edition of the Venice Biennale in 1980. Clemente is most closely associated with the Transavanguardia movement in Italy and recognized as an influential figure of Neo-Expressionism in the United States. His work is prized by collectors, curators, and critics worldwide for its vivid, enigmatic exploration of metaphysical questions of spirituality, mysticism, and the nature of the self.
Powerfully lyrical, Milarepa’s Dream addresses the central anxiety our times: the fragile future of a world presently in crisis. Rather than expressing helplessness or resignation, however, Clemente signals with Milarepa’s Dream toward hope and resilience: a white flag pierces a human heart surrounded by sparrows, harbingers of rebirth, as the atmosphere enveloping the scene cycles through a series of visual effects to arrive at the full clarity of dawn.
The buyer of Milarepa’s Dream also receives a live portrait session with Francesco Clemente for a watercolor painting, redeemable within one year of purchase. Clemente’s sitters for such portraits have included global luminaries spanning the cultural landscape, including such authors as Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs; artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kiki Smith, and Robert Mapplethorpe; and a range of popular media figures, from New York writer Fran Lebowitz, to supermodels Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, to opera stars Natalie Dessay and Karita Mattila.
ArtOfficial’s inaugural auction also includes a new NFT series: Our Backs to The Sea Far From Our Native Lands, with music by American composer and pianist Philip Glass, widely regarded as one of the most influential composers of the late 20th and early 21st century. As with the auction of Clemente’s Milarepa’s Dream, ArtOfficial’s non fungible tokens will be accompanied by live experiences with the artists whose works are auctioned.
Upcoming Auctions and The First-Ever Opera NFT
In coming months, the platform will exhibit and auction NFTs for new works by Vito Schnabel Gallery artists Jordan Kerwick, Spencer Lewis, Robert Nava, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Julian Schnabel, and Gus Van Sant, as well as a range of artists not represented by the gallery who are working in different mediums.
In Fall 2021, ArtOfficial will also present and auction the first NFT ever offered for an opera — a new visual and aural work by Mason Bates, acclaimed composer of the Grammy-winning opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. Born in Philadelphia in 1977, Bates is known for imaginatively transforming the way classical music is created and experienced as a composer, DJ, and curator. His symphonic music is the first to receive widespread acceptance for its unique integration of electronic sounds, and he was named the most-performed composer of his generation in a recent survey of American music. His current projects include The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for The Metropolitan Opera, and Philharmonia Fantastique: The Making of the Orchestra, for animated film and live orchestra. The first composer-in-residence appointed by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, Bates has also composed for film, scoring auteur Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees.
Vito Schnabel commented:
“Nina Simone famously said that ‘an artist’s duty is to reflect the times.’ For the many artists we work with across our gallery’s extended community, the times we live in now are being shaped by powerful new tools in the digital realm. These artists are eager to adapt and take chances. We’re taking our cues from them, embracing their ambition to expand the channels for presenting their work, and finding new ways to place it in the wider world. It’s been a terrific adventure to collaborate with Gary and the Vayner team over the past year to develop ArtOfficial in the pioneering spirit of these artists. We’re delighted to be launching this new platform together with them.”
Gary Vaynerchuk commented:
“This is a profound moment in the evolution of art history, with digital art and NFTs ushering in a paradigm shift. For me, the opportunity to team up in this moment with Vito, who I view as one of our generation’s most compelling professionals in the contemporary art space, is particularly exciting. By merging our very different but complementary talents and areas of expertise, we’re creating a platform that can deliver the greatest value to artists and the community that collects and enjoys their work, as well as many new collectors. I’m thrilled we are launching ArtOfficial and can’t wait for our future to unfold.”
Source: NFT Culture