Art Dealer Vito Schnabel Is Teaming Up with Internet Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk to Launch a New NFT Platform for Artists

Each NFT work sold on ArtOfficial will be accompanied by IRL experiences.

Left, Vito Schnabel. Photo: Argenis Apolinario. Right, Gary Vaynerchuk. Courtesy of ArtOfficial.

Art dealer Vito Schnabel is teaming up with internet entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk (better known as GaryVee) and his brother and collaborator A.J. Vaynerchuk to launch ArtOfficial, a new online platform for exhibiting and selling NFTs.

While other galleries and artists have partnered with existing platforms like NiftyGateway and SuperRare to sell NFTs, ArtOfficial is the first independent auction site operated by a commercial gallery. (Its name is a riff on the word “artificial,” and a tongue-in-cheek reference to the less than enthusiastic response some in the art world have had to the burgeoning NFT market.)

The first auction, from September 24 through October 4, features four unique NFTs created by Italian Neo-Expressionist Francesco Clemente. Each of the NFT works sold on the platform will be accompanied by live experiences; the buyer of Clemente’s Milarepa’s Dream, for example, will also receive a live portrait session with the artist.

Francesco Clemente, <i>Milarepa's Dream</i> (still) (2021). Courtesy of the artist and ArtOfficial.

Francesco Clemente, Milarepa’s Dream (still) (2021). Courtesy of the artist and ArtOfficial.

In its first few months, ArtOfficial will debut the first ever opera NFT, by artist Mason Bates, as well as works by artists including Robert Nava, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Julian Schnabel, and Gus Van Sant.

“The times we live in now are being shaped by powerful new tools in the digital realm,” said Vito Schnabel in a statement, adding that artists are eager to expand into the new frontier. “We’re taking our cues from them.”

Gary Vaynerchuk began his career as a wine critic before co-founding Resy, the restaurant reservation platform, and has since become one of the most vocal proponents of NFTs. (On October 1, Christie’s will sell five original drawings from Vaynerchuk’s project VeeFriends.)

“This is a profound moment in the evolution of art history,” Vaynerchuk said, “with digital art and NFTs ushering in a paradigm shift.”

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