On August 29, it was announced that ArtBloc, which is an art-related blockchain project that is based in South Korea, will sell a pair of paintings by famed English painter David Hockney in a very unusual way. They will be selling fractional shares of them using a blockchain application.
The project will officially launch on September 19 during a special event in Seoul called "Hockney Night with ArtBloc." The event will also function as the launch party for ArtBloc, too, and its attendees will further be able to look at some of Hockney's artwork that has never been on display before in South Korea.
By buying fractional shares of a painting, buyers can purchase just a small section of a piece of art, which would otherwise be unaffordable for most people. They can further gain this ownership (and potential profits from it) without actually taking possession of the art. The benefit for artists is that they can dramatically expand the market for their works.
ArtBloc began operations in March of this year. Its goals from its onset have been twofold: helping artists gain a fair price for their work and bypassing many of the problems that plague traditional art markets. Interestingly, the organization's blockchain will do more than just record ownership interests. It will also list reviews and exhibition records of all pieces of art that they will sell, helping buyers make a more informed buying decision.
According to ArtBloc's official white paper, their platform currently supports two separate blockchain applications. This includes ArtBloc Hub, which registers data about artwork, and ArtBlock Marketplace, in which artwork ownership is first tokenized prior to these tokens being issued. It further allows these tokens to be also listed and traded on a public ledger.
The ownership tokens that ArtBloc issues will be called Art Backed Tokens. These tokens represent the fractional shares of artwork ownership, and investors can purchase them on an individual basis.