1stDibs, a marketplace for extraordinary design, has launched an NFT platform, responding to the rapidly growing market for digital artwork. The NFT platform is based on an auction model, which expands on 1stDibs’ core e-commerce site. During the initial phase, the proprietary platform will feature semi-monthly auctions consisting of both group and solo work, starting with a two-week exhibition featuring dozens of NFTs, launching today. The debut exhibition is titled “Portals,” and is curated by notable artist Metageist.
“One of our guiding principles is the desire to continually innovate to meet the needs of today’s luxury marketplace,” said David Rosenblatt, CEO, 1stDibs. “In the last five years, we’ve evolved 1stDibs from a listings site to a true e-commerce platform, also expanding inventory categories beyond antiques to include contemporary design, jewelry, accessories and, most recently, art. As a technology leader, the introduction of NFTs to our offering is a natural alignment for us, and the auction-style platform we’ve revealed today reflects our investment in the NFT movement and the future of the art market.”
1stDibs’ NFTs will be available at 1stdibs.com/nft-collections and will be differentiated within the market for several reasons:
- Highly curated inventory. The launch phase will consist of semi-monthly online exhibitions featuring new crypto-art by creators 1stDibs has selected through a rigorous vetting process. The marketplace will focus on renowned creators from the fine art world and the Metaverse who have proven track records of commercial success.
- Technology-driven approach. Building on the considered curation that 1stDibs is known for, the NFT platform participates in this market with a native blockchain approach, which includes minting and an on-chain marketplace. This combination of a curatorial experience and the technical capabilities of the native NFT platform offers a unique distinction among blue-chip marketplaces. The initial launch includes a custom ERC721 token smart contract which is limited to minting a maximum of 5,000 tokens. In later iterations of the NFT marketplace, a new token smart contract will be deployed so that this initial launch is always limited. The buying process was designed to be seamless and native to the blockchain, leveraging Ethereum cryptocurrency accessed through a Metamask wallet that collectors can connect to the site.
- Community building through content creation. 1stDibs will publish original content in collaboration with the creators to tell the story of their collections and their artistic vision.
The first-ever exhibition on the new platform, “Portals,” features the work of 10 artists from across the globe. U.K.-based creator Metageist (Lee Mason), a mainstay in the NFT category who has spoken at TedxPeterborough, curated the collection to speak to the homonym definitions of portal, which can refer to a physical entryway or to a webpage.
“I chose the theme Portals to represent the threshold of two worlds. For some time there has been a bubbling undercurrent of immersive digital spaces for growing, learning and discovering. This quickened in the wake of Covid-19, which saw the world transition into a digital existence and the emergence of a virtual arts world via blockchain technology,” said Metageist (Lee Mason). “NFTs represent the future of digital artifacts as they lend ideas the weight of provenance and authenticity. I feel we are at the beginning of a new art renaissance, and in the future these early pieces will be highly valued.”
- A.L. Crego, a veteran GIF artist from Spain
- blackboxdotart, an early crypto-artist based in the U.K. who is also an encaustic wax painter
- Isa Kost, an artist, illustrator and graphic designer based in Milan
- Lucas Aguirre, an Argentinian digital artist working with VR sculpting tools
- Marc-O-Matic, a mixed reality artist and storyteller based in Victoria, Australia
- mvhvma, a 21 year old British South Asian artist whose artworks toe the line between illustrative realism and abstract surrealism
- Ogi, an artist, animator and designer who creates worlds of comprehensive meme constructs
- Process Smith, based in the U.K., whose current work focuses on AR and VR forms to explore consciousness and reality
- Rosie Summers, a virtual reality artist and 3D animator at XR Games, based in the U.K.
After “Portals,” the next NFT auctions will be:
- September 1: Escapism: Utopian & Dystopian Influences including works by Karl Poyzer, Nogland, Snow Yunxue Fu, Daniel Ambrosi and Sprice Studio.
- September 15: As yet untitled exhibition curated by Katie Peyton Hofstader.