Art Basel 2021: NFT Kiosk Kicks Off the Fair’s Post-Covid Comeback

October 2, 2021

Switzerland hasn’t had the pleasure of hosting Art Basel since 2019 (for obvious reasons), which made global creatives

all the more ecstatic to attend the event late last month.

Not only has Art Basel been celebrating emerging artists for 50 years now, but it has also inspired deep conversation

and innovative understandings within the art world. By connecting art enthusiasts from all over the world, Art Basel

cultivates the vocation of artists and art admirers.

The fair’s one-and-a-half-year hiatus played a poetic angle to the themes and motifs found throughout the exposition.

There was one debut that bore significance as a first in Art Basel’s 50-year history: the art fair’s first NFT

exhibition, living in Nagel Draxler’s backroom and accompanied by the gallery’s physical interpretations of NFTs in the

eight-artist display. The kiosk featured digital works with motivating forces behind them, including an NFT of a

photograph raising awareness for the Black Lives Matter Movement in Norway ((a) breathing: collective noun (2021) by the

London-based artist Luke Willis Thompson).

According to Artnet news, the kiosk had no problem attracting visitors and selling highly desirable digital works:

“Nagel Draxler reported success with NFT sales, and its little booth offshoot was packed with VIPs on preview day. Olive

Allen’s Post-death or The Null Address NFT sold for 8 ethereum, about €25,000, on opening day. An edition of Ridler’s

Mosaic Virus — a beautiful three-screen piece depicting floating tulips and their bulbs, a nod to the plant that became

an object of hyper-speculative boom-and-bust centuries ago — sold for £20,000. Kevin Abosch’s NFT had sold for

approximately €40,000 by early evening on preview day.”

Being that some collectors had no experience transacting with cryptocurrencies, dealers were happy to make an exception

for those who wanted to purchase works “right off the wall.” In these cases, dealers purchased the works through NFT

marketplaces with their company’s digital wallet and invoiced those purchasing the works traditionally. Hence,

collectors were able to pay with euros or dollars.

The 2021 Art Basel experience signified a strong urge and momentum to shake up the established order; something ORIGYN

spearheads by rebuilding and reimagining a new connection between physical works of art and NFT certificates. There’s a

new dimension to the world of art we’re revealing for enthusiasts everywhere to discover through co-ownership.