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Aleksandra Artamonovskaja is appointed head of arts for TriliTech, the entrepreneurship

Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, one of the leading consultants and moderators in the world of art on the blockchain, has today been appointed head of arts for TriliTech, the London-based R&D and entrepreneurship team supporting Tezos blockchain, and will be responsible for innovation and creating new opportunities for artists across the Tezos ecosystem.

Tezos has emerged in the last three years as one of the favoured homes for communities of artists minting NFTs (non-fungible tokens)—a permanent, immutable record on the blockchain of transactions of art, usually of digital formats, but sometimes of physical works or physical outputs of digital files—and as official blockchain partner to the Art Basel art fairs. Tezos has a large community of artists, which presents itself through seasons of People of Tezos , featuring hundreds of creators, artists and curators on the blockchain. Last year’s MoMA Postcard Project, launched by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, was powered by Tezos, presenting to the general public and the institutional world the fusion of art and blockchain technology, while the digital artist Gabriel Massan reated a multi-level collaborative game as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ Artist Worlds programme in 2022-23 and minted related NFTs on the Tezos blockchain.

Artamonovskaja, who uses the artist’s moniker Aleksandra Art, has worked at the intersection of art and technology since 2016 and has been minting and collecting NFTs herself since 2020. She has been active in the world of art on Web3 —the latest iteration of the internet, built on blockchain technology and controlled by its users. In 2020, she co-founded Electric Artefacts, a platform and advisory for digital art and blockchain projects.

“Tezos is home to some of the most prominent artists working with technology,” Artamonovskaja says, “and I couldn’t be more honoured to be stepping into the role of head of arts. We live in a time when fleeting trends often overshadow enduring quality. I’m excited to amplify and expand the depth and richness of Tezos’s art community and solidify its position at the forefront of the artist-centric narrative in the blockchain space.”

A time of consolidation for NFTs

How Tezos Art and Trilitech tell their story in 2024 is all the more important because Artamonovskaja’s appointment comes at a moment when the “traditional art world” may be looking again at NFTs as a long-term, universal conduit for a transparent market in digital art. The format is entering a period of consolidation in 2024 after the heady high-value headline-making NFT sales of 2021-22, the succeeding talk of NFT winters as the cryptocurrencies whose rise in value helped to power those heady values foundered, hitting bottom in early 2023. Some leading cryptocurrency valuations rebounded close to historical highs in March this year, fuelling talk that financial buoyancy in the crypto world might carry through to a return to high-value NFT markets. At the same time institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and Centre Pompidou have been making major acquisitions of NFTs in the past two years, while two serious historical analyses of NFTs and blockchain art in general—Robert Alice’s On NFTs and Alex Estorick’s book Right Click Save—have been published in the past month.

Artamonovskaja sees the challenge in having the traditional art world take digital art, and NFTs, seriously. “you need to have a very holistic perspective to truly see …. to see the bigger picture. Because, unfortunately, I think one of the biggest problems we have right now is that everyone has tunnel vision. They only see their side of the story. And I think that is obviously hindering the whole bridge between the art world and the on-chain art world. Artists and collectors are having debates every single day. What’s the right way? The more we can understand each other, I think the smoother we can grow together.”

‘Art was always there in my surname’

Moving from dealings with the legacy art world to the arena of encouraging on-chain artists and young collectors, Artamonovskaja relishes the challenge of sharing her genuine passion for making and collecting NFTs and for helping shape career paths for artists embarking into the vibrant, opinionated, historically anti-establishment world of art on the blockchain.

She wants particularly, she tells The Art Newspaper, to spread the word on how easy it is to collect NFTs on the blockchain, starting at low valuation. Here she speaks from her own experience as a former business consultant who worked in the world of top-level domain names before starting to collect and make NFTs, and running Electric Artefacts.

Self-portrait, 2024, Aleksandra Art, Post-processed photography with AI Courtesy Aleksandra Artamonovskaja

“Art touched me early on. It was like nominative determinism, you know, ‘art’ was always there in my surname,” she tells The Art Newspaper. She was born in Ukraine, moved to Prague aged 4, and was educated there and in Ukraine. “My family had a heart for art and we had some artists in our family,” she tells The Art Newspaper. “So I would visit artist studios, go to museums. But I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.” After studying international relations and economics at an American university in Prague, writing her thesis on the power of photography to influence social change, she worked in consultancy in Prague to save up to do her master’s in Art Business with the Sotheby’s Business of Art, moving permanently to London 14 years ago.

Her entreprenuerial, and professional, breakthrough came through joining .ART, responding to an advertisement that read “we’re building a place on the internet for art”. “And that was it. I was like, okay, this is me. This is perfect. Because it felt exciting. It felt different … Music had Spotify, books had Amazon, but art didn’t have that tipping point that would sort of like boom, change everything, how we look at art and demystify it … we were selling domain names, we were bringing the domain to the market.”

Her first role was “onboarding people in the art world onto [the] technology side of things and so I spent five years educating both old school galleries … but also interviewing people from Kickstarter or different museum directors … how they think about their digital strategy and how they want to move forward. And the goal of .ART, it was not just to sell the domain names, but to bring that digital shift forward. And after a few years, I became the head of partnerships there.” It was while subsequently running Electric Artefacts that she started to collect and mint on Tezos.

‘Collecting is for everyone’

“It would be a blessing,” Artamonovskaja says, “for people to understand the advantages of collecting through blockchain. That you own a piece of something, a digital asset that you know is yours, it’s scarce, and it comes directly from the artist, and it’s not going to be replicated. I think the closest is photography, except you can actually make more copies different sizes. So if anything, these digital assets are as pure and as rare as possible.”

On the blockchain, on Tezos, she says, “collecting is for everyone”. She adds: “I personally did not collect that much before entering the digital world … And thanks to the online platforms, it’s so much easier to discover new artists, to search for them, to look at the history.”

“I think the easiest example is Lorna Mills when she was an artist on Tezos. When she first started releasing her works, I knew that she’s been in the Whitney Museum. And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, an artist that is in Whitney, I can collect now for $5’. Well, now her works are more expensive. But back then I almost fell off my chair … I’m collecting museum-level artists. for a price I can afford, I can store it, and you can see online that I’m the unique owner.

“Collecting is simplified. So I think if people can understand that they can be a patron of the arts without breaking the bank and maintaining the same level of quality, that would be beautiful.”

Artamonovskaja also points out how many on-chain artists are looking at physical outputs of the digital art that is recorded using NFTs. “They enjoy looking at how their work can speak to physicality and how can it translate into a form … So if you have a piece by an artist, it’s more and more often that you can get a physical piece.”

“There’s an incredible world of diverse artists, especially on Tezos. It fills me with so much passion. And if I can get people infected with my passion, at least like 0.5% of The Art Newspaper‘s readers, that would already be a win.”

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