Shifting the Paradigm

The art world has been around for a very long time. Interestingly, although the type of art being created has changed dramatically over the years, what hasn’t changed much is how art is sold. The arrival of the internet, and later social media, has allowed artists some independence from the gallery system which has typically taken 50% of primary market sales. The more recent arrival of Blockchain technology, NFTs, and the Metaverse are empowering a broad spectrum of artists to – for the first time in history – control both opportunities and agency regarding their creative output and career sustainability.

Historically, artists have given voice to the pressing issues of their day. Thomas Cole, the father of the Hudson River School, who advocated for artists in the 1800s to capture the American landscape which was disappearing from the effects of the industrial revolution. Frida Kahlo addressed socialist and gender identity issues in the 1920s. Philip Evergood and many others addressed class and economic injustices of the 1930s. Hale Woodruff and a host of others addressed Civil Rights issues in the 1960s. And the Guerrilla Girls led the charge in the 1980s on the heels of the feminist artists a decade earlier. Today, a host of contemporary artists incorporate environmental and societal issues and themes within their works. Artists calling attention to what is going on in the world around them through art is no longer inherently revolutionary. But utilizing the new tools of Blockchain technology, NFTs and the Metaverse in order to do so is shifting the paradigm.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique in the art world because the blockchain contract associated with them stipulate transparently and unalterably the financial aspects of a sale transaction. And any Future sales of the work on the secondary market can have resale royalties built in. If the piece is a collaboration, then each contributor will get a proverbial “piece of the pie.”

What we’re witnessing is not just a more equitable way of selling art, but the opportunity for artists, galleries, and collectors to share part of sales proceeds with various causes and non-profits. Some artists are configuring their NFTs as an opportunity to help those making a meaningful difference in the world.

Our mission at CGH Blockchain is to promote and support artists who are looking to shift the traditional paradigms, by helping shift those paradigms ourself. Artists who are making a difference with environmental and social causes will be invited by us to work collaboratively within this new art ecosystem to help build a better tomorrow through art.

Our first exhibition featuring this model will be Nikolina Kovalenko’s Utopian Reefscapes. There will be paintings, reflective NFTs of each painting, and a raffle of a painting the artist will create during a residency at our gallery in Hudson, New York. 20% of all painting and NFT sales will be donated to the Coral Reef Alliance, a highly respected organization helping protect and restore the world’s fragile reefs and coral ecosystems. 100% of the raffle ticket sales will also to to Coral Reef Alliance.

Caldwell Gallery Hudson and CGH Blockchain are excited to present the actual paintings and artist at our gallery, and showcase the NFT art in our blockchain storefront and our virtual gallery in the Decentraland metaverse. We hope you will join us as we endeavor to come together and make a difference!

Sun Dance oil painting by Nikolina Kovalenko

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