More legend than man, Salvador Dalí was made for our digital moment. For an artist given to “a total discrediting of the world of reality,” his phantasmagorical scenes, created with nary a digital tool, remain enrapturing and eminently gif-able, while his flair for publicity bore out an understanding of the intertwining of image-making and commerce, if not a preoccupation with immortality. “Si muero, no moriré del todo,” he once declared — “If I die, I won’t die at all.”
As foretold, decades on from his actual death, Dalí endures, doing healthy sums on the art market and lately, persisting via technology. Here he is resurrected with artificial intelligence for the fittingly titled Dalí Lives at the Salvador Dalí Museum; and now, here he is showing up, not a moment too late, on the trending commercial engine that is the blockchain.
Today, Dalí Universe opens SPELLBOUND – Scenography Of A Dream at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Alla Pietrasanta in Naples, presenting 60 of the Spanish artist’s works, including “Spellbound,” the monumental canvas he created for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1945 film of the same name. To coincide with the exhibition, the private collection has partnered with Artscapy to release a NFT collection encompassing the first-ever digital tokens centered on Dalí.
The NFTs feature digital reproductions of eight well-known Dalí sculptures such as “Nobility of Time,” “Lady Godiva,” and “Dance of Time III.” Besides designing and minting the collectibles, Artscapy has also developed the dedicated sales platform from which buyers can purchase the NFTs, available in an edition of 9,999 and priced at $30 each. Transactions can be made in cryptocurrency or in fiat via credit card.
Why it matters
According to Dalí Universe, which holds the exclusive IP rights to more than 125 of the artist’s works, this collaborative NFT launch is intended to reach new collectors, offering them an opportunity to procure a Dalí creation. Undergirding that is of course a financial push, leveraging a ballooning speculative marketplace as much as the artist’s continued clout. Indeed, Dalí’s NFT entry does make headlines, and the mechanics at work here might delight the man who once signed some 350,000 blank sheets of paper to sell them for an easy killing.
But while grasping the revenue generating potential of NFTs, the collection, as it stands, remains limited in imagination for a blockchain-based project. And particularly so as the medium allows for utility to be built into these tokens, facilitating further collector engagement. This absence of a broader or innovative NFT strategy represents a missed opportunity to value-add and connect with consumers, or to reimagine collecting and patronage in the age of the blockchain.
What they said
“Having passionately collected and curated the works of Dalí for the past 70 years, I am excited to see Dali’s work take on a new life in the digital sphere and to be part of this historic moment. For me, it was of utmost importance to select a partner I could trust to bring Dalí’s artistic legacy into the digital age in the right way. We selected Artscapy due to their long term vision and commitment to bring quality art to the new generation of collectors with artistic integrity.” — Beniamino Levi, President, Dalí Universe
“At Artscapy, we are committed to preserving the artistic legacy of Dalí and bringing his work to new audiences, in addition to delivering a lifetime of value for all Dalí collectors with these new authentic limited editions.” — Alessandro and Emilia De Stasio, Founders and CEOs, Artscapy