- Superchief Gallery opened "world's first physical NFT gallery space" in New York City.
- From March 25 through May 25, the gallery will feature 300 artists and NFT drops.
- The art is displayed on high-resolution screens that can then be displayed in a collector's home.
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Superchief Gallery opened what it calls the "world's first physical NFT gallery" in New York City on Thursday.
Over the last several months, the NFT craze has dominated headlines and everyday conversations now that a variety of big names like the NBA, Grimes, and Mark Cuban have entered the blockchain-backed industry.
In response to this boom, traditional art houses like Sotheby's and Christie's have pivoted to NFT art. Now, a new player is looking to bring NFTs into an otherwise "traditional" art gallery space: Superchief. The company already has locations in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami, but has now expanded to New York City with this new NFT gallery.
Superchief Gallery NFT opened March 25 with the "Season One Starter Pack," an exhibition that will feature NFT artwork from 300 multidisciplinary artists. Every day through March 25, the space will display NFT art from five different artists, creating a gallery space that will look a bit different daily.
If 300 artists seems like a lot, Edward Zipco, Superchief's founder and director, has an explanation: "this is a movement, and for a movement to succeed, you need many many voices and visions included in the discourse and outreach."
"This is about working to legitimize NFTs long-term to reinforce two things - digital art is ART, and royalties for artists can never be taken away from the culture," Zipco told Insider in an email interview.
The 300 artists' works will also be auctioned through two different styles of "drops." The first will be a 72-hour auction of a one-of-a-kind piece from every artist, while the second will be a timed auction that will give anybody the opportunity to purchase copies of the artwork within a 72-hour cap. The gallery recommends potential customers prepare their crypto wallets ahead of the auctions, but will accept credit cards as well.
NFT art is digital, which means the space won't look like any traditional gallery with hanging canvases or sculptures. Instead, Superchief Gallery partnered with "digital canvas" specialists Blackdove to show the artwork on super high-resolution 4K screens between 49 to 90-inches. These screens can then be hung in a collector's home.
"For the time being, we are buying carbon credits through Cloverly in bulk to 150% offset our NFT carbon footprint," Zipco said. "We could have gone neutral and stopped there, but the thinking was: what if we went a little further and created a system that truly helps fund carbon initiatives like the ones that build machines to suck carbon out of the air, or reforest the Amazon."
Before this NFT gallery move, Superchief focused on contemporary artists from different backgrounds. This isn't the first time the gallery has shown digital art, but prior, there was no "clear way to monetize it," Zipco explained.
Like major NFT artists, Zipco believes more "traditional" galleries will soon pivot to NFT art as well.
"The best galleries are about their vision, curation, and the artists they have relationships with. To ignore this movement seems short-sighted to say the least," he said.
But for Superchief, this is only the beginning. The gallery plans to do a variety of NFT showings throughout the summer and is planning a "Season 2 Starter Pack" exhibition for the fall.
The gallery has also been in talks with famed NFT artist Mike Winkelmann of Beeple, whose "Everydays: The First 5,000 Days" piece recently auctioned for over $69 million with Christie's. Superchief once had plans to hold a Beeple solo exhibition, but this was put on hold after COVID-19 and an accident near the company's LA warehouse gallery.
"It was beautiful knowing that Beeple wasn't interested in us for the money, he was working with us because he wanted to be part of the larger art community we represent," Zipco said.