Start-up Arrts has signed a contract with the Félicien Rops museum to produce a series of 33 NFTs of the painting ‘La Dame au Puppet’. The start-up hopes to take art into another field and benefit artists financially.
From this Friday, the Ancient Exhibition will open its doors in Namur for a week. 30,000 people are expected at the antiques trade fair. In other words, we go there mainly to see the old. But it will also be possible to find out what the future of art could be. The start-up Arrts will present its business there. Launched a year ago the young company specialized in the creation of NFTs representing the works of the artists in very high resolution and digitally. If the digitization technology is not exactly new, Arrts still hopes to establish itself on the market by combining it with the blockchain, in order to make the works unique. “Through this technology, we can create new numbered series, which can then be monetized by artists,” explains François Toussaint, founder of Arrts.
“With blockchain, we talked too much about the technology instead of using it. When we talk about a website, we don’t waste time repeating that it was built with DNS.”
To launch its technology, it has created a platform that relies heavily on the “logion” certification. However, the founder doesn’t like to dwell too much on the technique of his project. “With the blockchain there has been too much talk about the technology instead of its use. When we talk about a website, we don’t waste time repeating that it was created with the DNS system. It should be mentioned here that we create unique digital pieces“, he summarizes.
Rops as first partner
Since its launch, the company has seen big things right away. The start-up managed to convince the Félicien Rops museum to entrust it with the “Lady with the puppet”, one of the most emblematic works of the painter of Namur. “We digitized it in high definition and produced 33 unique copies,” he slips. Each piece is offered for sale at 499 euros. In addition to the high definition illustration, a series of exclusive contents are included in the price. “The desire was to associate the physique with unique experiences,” explains François Toussaint. In addition to an exclusive visit to the castle where the painter lived, the start-up has also planned an explanatory video of about fifteen minutes, made with experts. “A kind of private curatorship,” he smiles.
Once purchased, the work can obviously be resold on the secondary market with a potential capital gain. “However, we have limited resale opportunities to platforms that intend to do so donate 5% of the profits from each resale to the artist (or in this case the museum). NFTs could be a new way to remunerate artists whose works are sometimes exploited without compensation. There is no reason why they can’t earn royalties on digital reproductions of their work”. The reflection on the fair remuneration of artists is also reflected in the business model of Arrts. With each sale, a significant portion of the proceeds will be returned to the artists. For the “La Dame au puppet” project, 80% of the proceeds will go to the museum, which intends to use the proceeds to finance its expansion works.
Wings in support, Comès in partnership
For his debut, Arrts obtained initial funding from the Wings fund of 100,000 euros. “We are still at the beginning. We are therefore still looking for the ideal business model. We give ourselves six months to adapt it and find the most suitable one”. In addition to the cooperation with the Rops Museum, Arrts also already has signed deals with other artists, including cartoonist Didier Comès, for whom the start-up will offer original artwork for sale in NFT format. “Again, part of the sale will go directly to the artist. It will be used to finance the restoration of the original plates that have warped over time,” explains François Toussaint.
“A great educational effort still needs to be done. In addition to technology fans, we rather try to reach art lovers.”
Other projects are also under consideration in particular with videographers, sculptors, graphic artists as well as with the Mons Dirty Monitor company, specialized in mapping shows on buildings. If the start-up was therefore ready to find interest from the artists, it remains to be seen how the concept will be received by the general public. “For the launch at the show, we will be showing the painting and NFTs on screens. I’m sure people will ask me if I sell screens,” he smiles. “There is still a great educational effort to be made. Especially since digital still enjoys bad press in art, particularly due to the first unconvincing projects. The ambition is to reach a new audience. Beyond of technology enthusiasts, we rather try to reach out to art lovers.”