Frank Stella Makes NFT – But Why?

Frank Stella Makes NFT – But Why?


I have to admit it when I first heard it Frank Stella was dropping NFT My first feeling was fear. As a permanent student of painting – and an American student at the time – I learned a lot from Stella’s direct and physical dealings with materials, form, and surface. There are few, if any, living artists whose works have dealt so openly with what it means to be a painter. However, in my opinion, this exploration was at its most important when he left his little work to reveal his oil-on-canvas origins. I hate that part of myself that would like to keep Stella in a chest as a pure “painter”, a chest he never belonged to. Breaking the frame and then the plane, Stella was always as consistent in his mission of getting ahead as he was with the lines in his early work.

My second thought was: “I wonder if he’s nervous.” Tense? I expect. Stella has made several creative departures in his long career. It is no stranger to the disappointment of those who have a vested interest in things being the same. He suffered and survived the gods Pans by critics. If he cares, in 1977, when critics at the time called him a traitor to minimalism, he was sure to be over by 2015 when Jerry Saltz said much of his work “looks like a terrible junk from space.”.

It can still be argued that Stella, 86, has nothing to lose just by getting into the NFTs. However, Stella’s motives for minting (the term used when the artist makes an NFT) could be a solidification of his legacy as an illustrator.

To be a painter is to be an artist deeply admired by those who also create, to be important or influential to other painters. Often characterized by their obsession with materials and craft, other painters marvel: “How do you do that?” Until actually trying to make a replica of a Stella board (something I wouldn’t recommend if you’re desperate) can seem pretty easy to do. Because of fluidity concerns and the mechanics of getting the right amount of paint on the brush, it’s nearly impossible to make. But that’s not the only reason why Stella is an artist. He was done She is actively involved in a campaign to make artist resale rights a de facto requirement.

As much as Stella cared about matter, physical form and surface, he cared about the rights of his fellow artists. For decades he has lectured and lobbied for the cause of resale rights. NFTs are trying to make this a reality. Throwing his massive weight behind the NFT model is, for Stella, an endorsement of the refactoring mechanics he has worked with for a long time. In that sense, Stella isn’t giving up on NFT because it’s necessarily the safe or trendy thing to do: he seems to be doing it for artists in the hope of living in a fairer art world. While contracts for resale rights to artists often incorporated into NFTs are far from perfect or clear, it is still an important step forward.

Beginning in the 1980s, Stella used computer-aided drafting (CAD) software to model his works. His NFTs come from this source work and, in essence, do not require any significant changes in his practice or a re-examination of his business.

It used to be a common joke that Stella’s career could, and perhaps should, have gone backwards: he began with a cut of purity and simplicity and spent his final years exploring less linear ideas. His adventure in the NFTs – and what it means to his fellow artists – flatly refutes this.



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