Introducing Tommy Kimmelman: Creative Lead at Nifty Gateway

One of the best proxies for the health of a society is the health of its artistic culture and technological advances.

If the arts are thriving and technological innovations are being made, that is typically a good indicator that the culture itself is healthy. Simply put, as art and technology advance, so does society. This is particularly true when new inventions advance the way we interact with art.

Just as the printing press created a new market for books, which propelled literature to new levels of popularity and helped society flourish, the internet is changing the way we create, consume, and sell art. From photography to digital art to music to film to literature, the internet has created more opportunities for artists and art enthusiasts than any other invention in history. Despite all of the positive externalities, the internet is awash with bad actors and cynical incentives. With the power to remove these negative externalities and bring the power back to the people, blockchain technology is the most exciting invention in years. Innovations in blockchain technology are setting the foundation for a new era of the internet, affectionately called Web 3. In addition to disrupting how we think about money with cryptocurrency, blockchain-enabled technology is ushering in an entirely new way to authenticate digital art, thereby creating a secure and transparent market where there was none before.

Now, artists can turn their art into Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs using the Ethereum blockchain. When an artist turns their art into an NFT, they associate a transparent and incorruptible certificate of ownership to said piece of digital art turning it into a ‘token.’ Digital artists and digital art collectors can buy and sell these tokens in a decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace; owners of the token always have an authentic record of ownership and make money on subsequent sales. With this emphasis on decentralization, authentication, and transparency, NFT technology has completely revolutionized how we create and consume digital art. The market is here to stay as 2021 logged an astonishing $40 billion worth of transactions with experts predicting the market to reach $80 billion in net sales by 2025.

As Creative Lead at Nifty Gateway, a premier NFT marketplace, Tommy Kimmelman has worked with some of the most newsworthy and record-breaking digital artists in the industry.

With Nifty Gateway, Kimmelman has worked closely with artists like Beeple, Pak, and XCOPY. Of course, the Christie’s auction for Beeple’s digital art collection of 5000 daily pieces broke the record for the most expensive sale for a single artwork sold publicly by a living artist when it sold for $69 million. Selling for such a large figure, with an established auction house, this first-of-its-kind sale opened the floodgates for the NFT market. On Nifty Gateway, Pak broke this record when he made an NFT sale for $91 million in 2021.

Both of these record-breaking artists and NFT entrepreneurs have worked closely with Kimmelman and Nifty Gateway; the 25-year-old creative lead worked with Beeple on his first ever NFT drop. Working directly with the artists, helping them determine the digital structure for their drops, Kimmelman has helped artists earn over $300 million through NFTs sales since joining Nifty Gateway in 2019.

While much of the recent NFT related news has been about collectible projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club or a plethora of celebrity-sponsored collectibles, Nifty Gateway has separated itself by placing its primary focus on digital artists. While these NFT collectible projects may have received more attention from social media in the last few months, Kimmelman and the Nifty Gateway team believe that the backbone of the artform, technology, and market is the digital artists and their creative output. With record-breaking numbers and the history of public interest in avant-garde art, their thesis is sure to be proven correct.

We look forward to following the next project Kimmelman works on.

LA Weekly