Particle, a digital art platform, recently announced the loan of its Banksy painting, “Love is in the Air,” to major museums worldwide. This decision was made possible by the votes of the co-owners of Particle’s artworks, a group that includes over 2,600 individuals and notable figures such as Beeple, Paris Hilton, and Kevin Rose.

Established in 2020, Particle has worked to position itself at the forefront of the art world’s digital revolution, allowing for the fractionalization of high-value artworks into NFTs in an effort to democratize art ownership and governance. The platform also aims to enable a more diverse group of people to participate in the stewardship of high-profile artwork.

Particle’s Banksy painting, with an estimated value of $12.9 million, was fractionalized into 10,000 NFTs in December 2021. It is managed by the Particle Foundation, a non-profit entity that operates according to the decisions of its co-owners.

“Owners get to vote on where the work is placed,” said Harold Eytan, CEO of Particle. He added that the platform organizes special events for collectors around the artwork and exhibitions. In some cases, collectors receive personal physical components related to the digital work. For instance, top collectors receive an original H.R. Giger print.

The Banksy painting will begin its journey in the United Kingdom this month, where it will be part of a Street Art exhibition in Newmarket entitled “The Urban Frame: Mutiny in Colour.” Afterwards, the artwork will tour the MOCO in Amsterdam and Barcelona, spending six months at each location.

“One of Particle’s missions is to democratize art ownership—both at the point of buying and owning and also of viewing and enjoying,” Eytan said. He believes that by opening artworks up to co-ownership, high-value artworks are taken out of storage and can be enjoyed in real life by global audiences.

Particle’s activities are in line with the growing trend among institutions to embrace digital artwork and NFTs. Both the Centre Pompidou in Paris and LACMA in Los Angeles have recently made significant strides in this direction.

LACMA has acquired a donation of 22 NFTs of generative artworks, including pieces from Dmitri Cherniak, Cai Guo-Quiang, Matt DesLauriers, and Monica Rizzoli, as well as collectible NFTs from the CryptoPunks and World of Women collections. This move is part of LACMA’s ongoing efforts to highlight digital art, which also includes a recent exhibition on the evolution of computer-based art and a fund to purchase digital artworks by female artists.

Meanwhile, the Centre Pompidou is hosting a groundbreaking NFT exhibition, “NFT: The Poetics of the Immaterial from Certification to Blockchain,” through January 22, 2024. The exhibition, a result of collaboration between the French Ministry of Culture’s scientific and administrative teams and Pompidou’s director, Xavier Rey, features 18 blockchain-related works. It aims to explore the diverse artistic cultures within the Web3 landscape, bridging the digital world of crypto art with contemporary art and the decentralized economy.

According to Particle’s Eytan, “As more institutions continue to embrace digital artwork and NFTs, the future of art ownership and governance is set to evolve. Platforms like Particle are playing a key role in shaping this future, fostering a sense of shared ownership and democratizing art ownership.”


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