NFTs, art and design. Bruno Pitzalis: “the revolution is not going to stop”

We had a chat with an Italian crypto-art expert to find out how blockchains, crypto-currencies and NFTs will change our world. Including the world of design

La poltrona Hortensia di Andrès Reisinger, ideata come concept digitale e poi realizzata “materialmente” da Moooi

The question he has heard most often over the last few months is “what is your job”? Bruno Pitzalis, 41 years old in 2022, with a background in art, communication and technology, is now an expert on CryptoArt, a profession that raises eyebrows and makes people e curious.

So I asked him the same thing: Pitzalis, what do you do?
“I’m sort of a bridge: I try to connect a new way of making and selling digital art with more conventional circuits.”

For example?“In June 2021, in collaboration with Cambi Casa d’Aste Milano, I organized the first auction of NFT works in Italy.” ON THE WORLD OF NFT READ THIS

How did it go?
“16 of the 18 pieces chosen for the auction, exclusively visible in a metaverse (virtual reality, ed.), all by Italian artists, were sold. Also to ‘traditional’ collectors.”

People who bought paintings to hang in their homes: why are buyers now interested in non-tangible assets?
“First of all, the pandemic has changed our perception of domestic spaces: the world’s biggest collectors, above all in Asia, now spend more time at home and prefer to surround themselves with ‘clean’ white walls. They no longer want paintings to hang.”

The CryptoArt expert Bruno Pitzalis (foto da Facebook)

But they like virtual works.
“Because today our ‘digital’ presence also counts: we are no longer only real people, we have a virtual ‘self’ to nurture, curate, display and share. This is what is important of collectors of crypto-art: their online reputation is based on works acquired in a digital context.”

But where are these works “shown”?
“In this ‘transition period’ the social networks also play an important role: Twitter, for example, is regaining popularity precisely thanks to NFTs. They recently introduced a function that lets you upload your profile photo in NFT format, indicated by a hexagonal form. When the image is uploaded, anyone can click on it to get information on the origin of the work, the artist, the collection and the sales platform, and to verify the authenticity of the work.” 

Many people say that NFTs and blockchain will be the future of the web, and that thanks to them the web will be a much safer ‘place’ than in the past. Why?
“Internet is a relatively young creature, and its growth over the last 15 years has been fast but also rather unruly: in exchange for social network interaction and speedy transactions we have yielded an enormous amount of sensitive data, including photos, passwords, credit card codes, etc. Web 3.0 is already at work to correct these distortions.” 

“By decentralizing the system: in blockchains there is no central server, but many scattered servers, making a hacker attack much less advantageous: it would cost too much. Furthermore, every user here creates his own digital ID with a ‘wallet’ of crypto-currencies with which he can directly interact with the various sites: so it will no longer be necessary to insert your ID card and/or credit card to make a payment.”

Regarding the furniture and design sector, what is already happening in this sort of “parallel universes” known as metaverses?
“At the moment there are two of them gaining rapid ground: Sandbox and Decentraland. In both of them, the race has begun to acquire land for development, in which to create and construct experiences for users. The difference lies in the graphics: Sandbox is quite geometric, while in Decentraland the design is beautiful, much closer to the real world. There is a lot of freedom and the opportunities to create new objects are infinite.”

Until now the most important design NFT has been the HORTENSIA CHAIR BY ANDRÉS REISINGER. Created as a digital concept, it soon went viral and was then “materially” produced by Moooi. Isn’t the passage from digital to physical something of a “betrayal” of crypto-art?
“It is, in my view, and it really no longer makes any sense. Until 4-5 months ago there was only a small market for NFTs, but today the market is expanding and it’s working very well. To convert a digital work into a physical work – a request also made by the artists themselves – is a bit like shooting yourself in the foot. It shows that you do not really believe in the movement to which you belong. But this movement is instead very strong and moving at a fast pace, also in economic terms. I don’t believe it is going to stop.”