Sarah Sherman Samuel, Ken Fulk, and More Design Stars Are Making NFT Art Cool, Not Confusing
They’re backing Tonic, which is all for transparency.
Published Jan 25, 2023 2:45 PM
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If there’s one thing you’ll always spot in a Domino home tour, it’s art. A painting’s presence can bring a blank room alive and, in many cases, determine the entire look and feel of what surrounds it. So it’s understandably difficult to wrap our heads around the idea of intangible NFT artwork—but we are finally coming around to the idea with the launch of Tonic. The company, which is led by Susannah Maybank (most recently the head of digital at Gagosian) and Mariam Naficy (founder of Minted), likens itself to a “fine art NFT gallery and community,” says Naficy. Yes, the art is all generative—meaning programmed using a computer—and ownership is registered on the so-called blockchain, a digital database of transactions.
Don’t switch tabs just yet. While it takes a minute to understand the creation process, it actually makes buying and collecting art simpler. The quick gist: An artist writes computer code (sometimes with the assistance of a pro) that results in a themed collection of unique digital prints. More important, its record on the blockchain allows its sales history to be easily accessed and traced. “You can see how many people are bidding, how fast prices are coming down…it’s a more transparent market than, say, going to a counter and asking for the price of something behind a glass case,” says Maybank.
The auctions will be Dutch style, meaning the offer for a work begins at the highest price and incrementally lowers every few minutes until someone places a bid. And you won’t necessarily have to spend a small fortune: The starting price of the first auction, Chromesthesia from Jaime Derringer, starts at roughly $800 and will rest at $200.
But what do you do with a piece of Tonic’s digital art? Lucky for analog diehards, Tonic will turn it into the real deal if you want. (Psst: Only the owner of a Tonic work can order a print, and you only get one copy in order to protect scarcity.) To help consumers understand how a piece can go from living solely on the blockchain to hanging above your sofa, the gallery brought together a group of top designers and creatives as its founding partners. We’re talking Domino favorites like Sarah Sherman Samuel, Brigette Romanek, Ken Fulk, and our very own chief content officer, Kate Berry, all who are ready to show the many ways you can decorate with generative art.
If you’ve read this far, you won’t want to miss Tonic’s launch call happening this Thursday, January 26, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The event is open to the public, but you’ll have to register in advance at tonic.xyz to attend. Naficy and Maybank will cover the basics of generative art, and you’ll also get a peek inside the homes of three founding partners (Berry’s New York City apartment included!) to see how they’ve styled a framed work from Tonic’s debut collection by Derringer. Another perk of attending: You’ll automatically get a physical print created by Samuel and be entered to win a tapestry by the interior designer. Your walls are in for a serious glow-up.