Culture Hack

Culture Hack

Why NFTs are Benefiting Artists of Color the Most

In early March, a 41-year-old digital artist that goes by the name of Vakseen accepted large bids for the first of six versions of a digital painting that featured Michael Jordan. Since the auction, Vakseen has been commissioned for other digital art pieces, giving the Black artist exposure that he never quite had before. Vakseen’ struggle art was even featured in a digital gallery that features work from all over the world by Black artists. This recent success was made possible by NFTs and the rise of digital collectibles. 

When NFTs first started to rise in their popularity, we explored exactly what they were and why different art communities found an interest in them. Since more creators have found the new selling system, however, it’s become more obvious that these non-fungible tokens may be helping artists of color get the exposure they need. And it doesn’t just stop and getting their signature style and methods out there; most of these artists are finally getting the financial recognition they deserve. Just one of Vakseen’s digital pieces was valued at $500,000 not even a year after the creator went into NFTs. After finding his success, Vakseen believes that all artists of color will benefit the most from this new world of exchange. 

In 2018, Black artists accounted for less than 2% of the global art auction market.

While it may be harder for artists of color to break out onto the digital art scene compared to their white counterparts, communities are forming with the purpose to amplify minority presence in these spaces. One group, a NFT art club called Black NFT Art, has developed a connection with Black digital artists through social media — with Clubhouse as the main platform — to showcase the artists in the network as well as host galleries for crypto artists. Though the group is fairly new, they have collected over 50 artists who have made over $700,000 together. 

The groups that are uniting and promoting crypto artists of color are also combatting the gatekeeping in the art auction community. Investors who recognize NFTs as a way for minority creators to breakout are developing these virtual spaces so that the people they promote are no longer kept on the outskirts of the action. In its early stages on the mainstream art scene, artists as well as entrepreneurs that believe in them want to make the NFT art scene the most leveled playing field for content that history will ever see. 

Although artists of color are still fighting for their space, even in the digital art scene, NFTs have made it significantly easier for them to gain followings and to earn the money that belongs to them. If you are looking to get into collecting NFTs or need another, more effective, way to support these artists, seek them out through communities such as Black NFT art or use social media as a way to discover and connect with your new favorite crypto artist.