In The Gateway: Korea’s first panel to kick off Day One, renowned digital artist Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, took center stage with CEO of nft now Matt Medved to discuss the art and NFT world’s evolving dynamics and share insights about his own journey and work. The ambiance was cozy, with dim lights casting a glow on the two long-time friends. They chat about how Beeple has been at three Gateway events now, with Korea being the third. The crowd swelled to capacity as Beeple’s immense popularity in Korea drew fans from all over the country.
Medved and Beeple initiated their dialogue with a discussion about an exclusive artwork Beeple had created for The Gateway: Korea. Beeple enthusiastically shared details, with the conversation smoothly transitioning to the recent inauguration of Beeple Studios in South Carolina. Beeple painted a picture of the vibrant, industrial-chic workspace, describing it as a place where creativity knows no bounds.
The topic then shifted to the tools and techniques Beeple employs at his studio. He delved into the transformative power of digital artistry, illustrating how the audience can virtually experience the evolution of a piece, witnessing the dynamic changes in composition or lighting.
Beeple then expressed his vision for the future of digital art, stating, “We’re going to see more people performing digital art, and then something will come from it. You will continue to see people building more interactive experiences, a more visceral experience rather than a quick mint.”
The discussion about the sometimes-controversial world of NFTs was up next. Medved asks if there’s a taboo around the word NFT. Beeple agrees that it’s currently the case, but because there are so many bad actors in the space. While acknowledging the growing pains of the NFT space, he reminded everyone of the time and patience required to realize value and long-term enjoyment. Medved agreed, recalling his own experiences, and said, “We’re early to this, and it takes patience to build things that will truly add value or enjoyment long term.”
The conversation took a personal turn when Medved inquired about Beeple’s sources of inspiration and hope. With candidness, Beeple shared his admiration for artists like Sam Spratt, who have the gift of weaving stories that truly resonate. His honesty was refreshing as he admitted, “On the infrastructure side, not much.”
The topic of artist royalties was also broached. Beeple’s insights were profound. He shared, “I would personally love to see royalties showering down on everybody, but there needs to be an adjustment of expectations. I think there will be something through a social contract, not a smart contract, that will honor that. If people don’t want to pay it, they don’t want to pay it.”
As the session neared its end, Beeple teased some upcoming projects. Speaking of “Human One,” he revealed his plans to continuously update this piece, promising, “I will be changing it for the rest of his life.”
When questioned about the legacy he hopes to establish, Beeple expresses that the realm of digital is vast and the mediums are always changing. He concludes that just to be included in that discourse is an immense privilege.