As part of our ninth consecutive year as Show Partner at Art Basel: Miami Beach, Douglas Elliman invited Blackdove, an innovative, NFT-based marketplace and digital art platform, to curate an immersive installation of video art for our space in the show’s Collectors Lounge. With a library of more than 4,000 pieces of moving art, Blackdove offers subscription and pre-purchase video art and allows clients to upload and display their NFTs on most any smart TV screen, digital canvas or video wall.
With art show getting underway, Elliman Insider spoke with Dan MikesellPartner and President of Blackdove, about the company’s Collectors Lounge installation, the advent of “the NFT bonfire” and his tips on becoming a collector of digital art.
How did you get into the world of digital art?
My wife and I have been collecting art for over 20 years. We started with physical art like drawings, sculptures and paintings.
Then, to give back to the artist community, we founded a year-round artist residency in 2008 called Fountainhead, in a historical neighborhood of downtown Miami. The program hosts three artists every month and, to date, has supported over 500 artists from more than 50 countries.
In those decades, we had collected some digital pieces over the years but always ran into difficulty showing them. Originally, you’d have the piece stored on a flash drive data stick or a DVD. So, I joined Blackdove, which is making it easier than ever to collect and display digital art.
“Art ought to be an important
part of everyone’s life.”
Once the NFT bonfire was lit around three years ago, new artists have been welcomed into the fold, and we’re getting to experience exciting new work in new ways. Art ought to be an important part of everyone’s life, and now that NFTs can be bought for reasonable prices, the innovation is bringing in a wave of new collectors.
How does your company Blackdove bring digital arts into the home?
Blackdove features 400 digital artists, all creating moving art. There are 4,000 pieces to choose from on the platform, which makes it easier than ever to convert your existing television into a digital canvas.
Any smart TV screen in any property can easily become a piece of art with our app. You can create a playlist of moving, varied art to your specific tastes and continuously morph your space to your mood or aesthetic.
Digital art fits anywhere and can be so easily changed. Lugging large art in and out of residential or commercial properties used to be an obstacle, but now with our app, you can bring something hip and cool into the room with the click of a button.
Tell us about the Blackdove exhibit in Douglas Elliman’s booth at the Collectors Lounge.
For Douglas Elliman, Blackdove curated a selection of nine innovative pieces that will play in a loop on a portrait-shaped canvas, centered around Elliman’s brand colors.
Yuma Yanagisawa is a standout artist on Blackdove and a feature in our round-up. Yanagisawa makes abstract, non-figurative art that is engaging, highly creative and looks amazing in the Elliman booth.
Stan Adard is another notable artist whose work is not about color; it’s about creating a mood focused on wellness and the importance of conscious breathing.
Jonathan McCabe works with generative and algorithmic art. He works with software to define the shape, speed and definition of his pieces using Turing’s theory of morphogenesis. Excitingly, his work is already on showcase in New York City on 55-foot-long video wall canvases.
Those are just a few of the artists on display in Douglas Elliman’s booth this year.
How do you expect digital art to evolve over the next decade?
Without a doubt, there will be more digital art creators in the next decade. Every year, 100,000 students graduate with an art degree, and they’re all making digital art. Their work is moving into galleries and museums and is showing up at high-end auction houses. In 2021, the artist Beeple sold an NFT at Christie’s for $67 million.
What advice would you give to those looking to collect digital art?
Simply put: start to buy art. I believe that a collector is anyone who spends money on art and appreciates artists. Find what you like slowly, as your tastes are going to evolve. Start small. Set your budget and find a piece within your parameters. Don’t overthink it or seek external validation. Next, live with them—show off your art, and get to know the artist. Finally, enjoy your art.