With the explosion of the NFT market in the past few years and the evolution of the metaverse and web3, the missing piece has often been the bridge between the rapidly growing world of digital art and the long-established world of traditional art. With the traditional art world being home to an immense community of power brokers, collectors, investors and artists, the benefits of traditional art investors coming off the sidelines in the web3 arena are obvious, but so too would the art world benefit from the new generation of collectors and investors being cultivated in the metaverse.
Roger Haas, a veteran of the art world who has directed art galleries in Zurich, stepped in along with his team to fill the void through a project he has co-founded called ArtMeta. Endeavoring to become the authoritative metaverse for fine art, ArtMeta has rapidly gained significant attention in both web3 circles and the traditional art realm. We connected with Roger to learn more about what the merging of traditional art and the metaverse could look like.
Block Telegraph: Can you tell us a little about the user experience of the ArtMeta metaverse?
Roger Haas: The vast research, design and development that has gone into the creation of ArtMeta is incredible. Led by Artistic Director, Jonathan Delachaux, the team has worked with a geologist, biologist, volcanologist, and astrologist to ensure that all of the elements and details within the metaverse itself are congruent with nature. Once you enter Tchan-Zâca – the main island in our metaverse, you will have the ability to freely roam the island and explore every gallery. Experiencing Tchan-Zâca is like walking through an enchanting Swiss inspired city that is surrounded by nature incorporated with modern architectural elements.
One of the unique attributes about Tchan-Zâca is that every gallery door you walk through is another world. You’re transported into a completely different place from the one you just stepped in from. You never know what’s waiting for you on the other side of a gallery entrance.
Tchan-Zâca is more than just a fine art metaverse experience. We are a global fine art resource, a repository of knowledge in blockchain technology, and a destination for socializing and meeting people in all of these spaces.
BT: When did you realize that there was a need for a bridge between the traditional art world and what was happening in web3?
RH: From my gallery days, I had built an international network with artists, museums, galleries, auction houses and private collectors around the world. After six years, and some international success in showing at world class fairs, I decided to close the gallery because I felt that the old model of the traditional art market wouldn’t work for me any longer. I started to develop new formats for displaying art; I founded a film company which produced art based series and made short films about contemporary artists that were available online.
When I began to hear language like “metaverse” and “web3” I realized there was a paradigm shift coming for the entire art market. The potential is just too great and no longer needs to rely on these archaic frameworks for the experience and distribution of art. Web3 really invigorated my entrepreneurial spirit and my ability to see the future of art and its digital display potential that really benefits artists.
Two years ago, Jonathan Delachaux began to develop an early version of the metaverse. Jonathan was one of my artists in the gallery, he is an internationally acclaimed artist and is now one of the founding team members and Artistic Director at ArtMeta. Since then we have assembled a full time team of incredibly talented 3D artists, developers and designers.
BT: What is your vision for the future of the art industry in how it embraces the metaverse and NFTs?
RH: I want the world to be able to experience what has otherwise been a somewhat “closed-door” industry. The big paradigm shift for the art world is that the blockchain is not only a new medium for artists but at the same time a channel to reach new audiences and get in touch with their communities. Artists now can participate in a completely different revenue model – where everything is transparent, and the artist is part of the royalty structure in perpetuity.
At ArtMeta, we’re building a revolutionary new way to experience fine art. We are preparing a display and transaction solution for the traditional art market, while simultaneously working on implementing technologies like 3D design and pixel streaming. When this software becomes mass compatible across devices in the next few years, the market will be ready and so will we.
Once fiat becomes less and less utilized to purchase gallery artworks, galleries and institutions will have no choice but to adapt. More than this, artists will begin to see the potential of their artworks go beyond their initial concept. Pairing traditional artists with digital artists gives NFT art a whole new dimension, texture and experience. What this means to the greater world, is that through our metaverse, everyone will soon be able to experience fine art and culture like never before, all from the comfort of their own home.
BT: What are some of the exciting ways this could bring a new generation of investors into art as well?
RH: Art as a means of preserving wealth is a sought after alternative to mitigate economic uncertainty. Art has never been easier to buy, hold and sell with the introduction of NFTs.
At ArtMeta we are working with top tier galleries, auction houses and private collectors around the world, as well as fine art logistics and custody providers, insurance companies and banks, connecting us with their clients and the retail banking system. What we make possible for the crypto consumer is the ability to use their crypto without converting back into fiat to purchase these investment piece artworks, with NFTs serving as proof of ownership – recognizable by these banks, galleries, collectors and institutions. We will also make it possible for retail users looking to participate in fractionalized ownership of blue chip artworks, also using NFTs as proof of ownership, giving these consumers the ability to display these works in their homes, in digital frames, knowing they own a share in them. In essence, we are building the future of fine art acquisition.
BT: What excites you about ArtMeta’s roadmap currently?
RH: There is a lot to be excited about in the near future. First would be our metaverse itself. The team is currently conducting internal demo walkthroughs, building galleries and new user experiences. We are excited to finally share a glimpse into this experience with our community through a live stream in June, make sure you’re following our social channels to get the details on when and how to watch this.
Another exciting milestone is our first ever Demo Premiere in Basel on June 18th. We will be debuting our first metaverse experience at a side event, during Art Basel. ArtMeta will bring worlds together with a live panel discussion, featuring each of the event partners: VP Bank Group, TrustSwap, Swappable, Alpha Praetorian Capital, Haas & Company, Liberty Specialty Markets and Night Gallery. The event showcase will feature Place Des Mascarades, the main square within the metaverse, along with the reveal of the first bespoke spaces within. The gallery experiences will include the NFT collaborations with Night Gallery LA, including the most recent collections from artist Daniel T. Gaitor-Lomack, Swappable, as well as a feature piece in collaboration with VP Bank. These experiences will offer a preview of the diverse potential of how fine art can be infinitely reconfigured and displayed within a digital environment.
I am also very excited about our recent partnership with VP Bank. This partnership opens immense opportunities for both parties. With ArtMeta, VP Bank will be able to digitize their ultra rare and valuable collections and then display and sell these within our metaverse. Investors who are looking to own exclusive fine art, will soon be able to do so easily within our metaverse, using cryptocurrency, specifically ArtMeta’s token, $MART.
Which brings me to our $MART token release on June 28th just shortly after our demo premiere. With even more exciting partnership announcements to come surrounding this release.
That’s in the immediate future, but beyond the next month our growing team has a lot more coming in the pipeline. We are looking forward to sharing more details with everyone in the coming months.