Culture in the digital world is rapidly evolving. A new trend, NFT art, is gaining popularity. For many people, this kind of art is beyond comprehension. You can’t touch it with your hands or see it in a frame on the wall in a museum. The forms of such works are in the virtual world, and you can see them on the screen or through digital projection. The forms of such works are in the virtual world, and you can see them on the screen or through digital projection. The appearing works compare in value to the great masterpieces of classical art.

Is it even possible to compare Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper with Mike Winkelmann’s “Everydays: the First 5,000 Days”? And this painting was sold for more than $ 69 million. They are totally different things, but now both the former and the latter are art. Culture Online portal is trying to understand how this trend is reflected in the culture and what awaits us in the future.


An NFT is a non-fungible token (a type of a security in digital form) that is stored in a blockchain cell (a kind of database, a chain of blocks in which information is stored and processed). Data about the contents of the record is shared across multiple computers on the Internet. For example, a picture converted into such a token is unique and cannot be replaced or deleted.

To understand the difference between an NFT-token work and a digital reproduction of a painting on the Internet, imagine the painting “Bogatyrs” by Viktor Vasnetsov, which is stored in the Tretyakov Gallery. It is unique in itself and in a single copy. Meanwhile, there are many electronic copies of such a picture online and in life. Anyone can reproduce or recreate it, but there is only one original and is in the museum in Moscow.

Culture in the digital industry has several forms of expression. Today many projects exist in online format: concerts, exhibitions, tours, lectures, even theatre can be seen in the virtual world. NFT is a new form of culture’s self-expression in the digital space. Their value is in their novelty and follows the same principle as that of customary objects of art: uniqueness, limitedness, and inimitability.

Foto: Mike Winkelmann (Beeple). «The first 5000 days»/Christie’s

Many museums are beginning to embrace modern cultural technology and digitize their artwork. The State Hermitage Museum conducted an experiment and digitized five paintings by great artists: Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna Litta, Van Gogh’s Lilac Bush, Kandinsky’s Composition VI, Monet’s Corner of the Garden at Montgeron, and Giorgione’s Judith. 2 copies were made for each painting. One for the museum, one for the auction.


As a result of the auction, the digital copies were sold:

Madonna Litta for $150,500.

Judith for $65,000.

Lilac Bush for $75,000.

Composition VI for $80,000.

Corner of the Garden at Montgeron for $74,000.



Foto: The State Hermitage Museum

Contemporary artists digitize their works in NFT and organize exhibitions. Museums and collectors take their digital art collections with them, without contacting intermediaries, and showcase them at exhibitions around the world. This is extremely convenient. One of the popular Russian street artists, Pokras Lampas, created a painting “Transition” on canvas, digitized it and sold for 2 million rubles.

To make an NFT, a master should either create a work in the digital format or digitize the already existing art object. To this end, one should take their work to a special platform and convert it. In blockchain, the skill of the author does not play a big role. The idea is paramount. People buy artwork for the purpose of investing their money. If a person buys an NFT, he or she understands that there are no more of these, the work is unique. In the future, it can be resold, exchanged or bought in larger quantities.


Of course, one needs to rethink the very understanding of art in general and learn to recognize it in the new reality. The Culture Online portal hosts many projects in digital industry. If you have a similar project, tell us about it