A Timely Intervention: How Do NFTs Preserve Stencil Wall Art?

A Timely Intervention: How Do NFTs Preserve Stencil Wall Art?

NFTs have been around for several years, and there are still many questions that an innovative art medium raises. Some people actively support the initiative and invest in crypto-based artworks, while some others are not that keen on the whole idea of tokens and virtual collections. Recently, however, NFT art started serving a good cause, which both groups would find beneficial for the global art community. Believe it or not, NFTs are now a good way to extend the life of stencil wall art. Let’s see how it is possible.

How do NFTs help preserve stencil wall art?

On September 14, 2022, LCD Lab will present an ambitious NFT art project titled “Banksy Radar Rats,” which is destined to present about 1,000 original prints from the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. For those who don’t know, the hotel is one of the few Banksy’s official exhibitions that feature authentic works by a famous street artist. Preservation is one of the purposes of the project because it stores murals on walls in a digital format. A virtual copy can be stored by a collector on any type of storage device until it is “burned.” How does it add up?

By scanning a painting on a bridge or building, people can immortalize a piece of art for good. Sooner or later, stencil wall art gets painted over by other artists or vandals. More than that, the surface also gets fragile with time, which automatically damages and even destroys a mural. Prior to the drastic popularization of NFTs in the summer of 2021, you could find a lot of pictures and images of street artists painting on streets or some complete artworks. Right now, blockchain allows putting some imperishable value on those pictures. In other words, when you create a model of artwork, you make it digitally accessible for generations to come.

There is one more benefit of the NFT “revolution” for stencil wall art, and that’s the support of artists. The thing is that hardly any street painters earn money for what they do. It becomes possible when you are famous and can capitalize on your fame. However, that’s an almost impossible task for beginners or unknown artists. With an account on the NFT marketplace, they can post their works and possibly earn some money from it.

If you want to join the race and buy some NFT, make sure to do your homework and choose a buyer responsibly. As for Banksy’s digitalization, don’t get your hopes high. Nowadays, official stencils are not being sold, so what you usually see on the internet is not what it seems to be.