Paweł Kowalewski’s NFT entitled “Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?” was auctioned on December 2, 2021 at the largest Polish auction house – DESA Unicum – for over 100 K euros (550 K zlotys with auction fees). It was a pioneering event on the Polish auction market. NFT works are taking global artworld by storm, and collectors are more and more interested in this new dimension of digital art.
The first NFT object to hit the hammer at yesterday’s auction “Contemporary Art: Pop Art, Pop Culture, Postmodernism” at DESA Unicum was “Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?” by Paweł Kowalewski, an icon of Polish art of the 1980s, founder of the legendary Gruppa and professor of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. Kowalewski’s works constitute an important and ironic commentary on the repression of the totalitarian regime in the times of the Polish People’s Republic. The painting depicting a yellow cheetah against the setting sun was created in 1986. As a result of a flood in 1997, the painting was completely destroyed. Today it does not have a physical form and only exists virtually thanks to blockchain technology.
– Our whole world is transferred to the virtual world. It is similar with art and NFT. We have to adapt to the new realities, because there is no turning back. A tragic flood destroyed my basement where I stored my paintings. Only shreds and empty frames left of them. It would be a painful experience for any artist. The painting “Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?” it is truly important to me. It was also the favorite work of prof. Jacek Sempoliński, whose assistant I was at the Academy of Fine Arts. The title of my work refers to the philosophical question asked by Wilhelm Leibniz, a key philosophical question in the history of mankind. NFT is very opening for me and I will definitely stick with this technology for a while. Today, my damaged art work passes to eternity in digital form and lives in the next dimensions. ” – explains artist Paweł Kowalewski.
NFT is an extremely democratic market. There are more and more artists who create their works in this technology. So do the dedicated platforms where you can see their work. NFT’s works may not have a physical body, which is still controversial, but they have an encoded value – perpetual ownership of a digital asset stored in a unique computer file. It cannot be forged or copied. This is the key advantage of NFT, which convinces collectors today.
Juliusz Windorbski from DESA Unicum also speaks about the advantages of NFT: “Modern technologies are changing the art market, enabling the dynamic development of digital creativity. Auction houses can play a significant role in their popularization among collectors. Therefore, we are the first not only in Poland, but throughout Central and Eastern Europe. We decided to extend our offer with objects created in the NFT technology. We see in it as enormous potential, which we want to develop in parallel to the traditional auction market. ”