Colborn Bell is a collector who had a real “love at first sight” towards NFTs and crypto art. The artists have become for him the real source from which to draw information, to know and identify the art of the future, to which the collector himself has chosen to give an innovative digital space: a metamuseum.
The inspiration comes from a trip to Brazil organised to visit the Inhotim museum, surrounded by nature where art is all around the visitor and his path is not determined by something predetermined by others, but by his gaze. This is the background to the Museum of Crypto Art.
In this interview, Colborn Bell tells us about his connection with crypto art, his way of collecting and how he sees the future of what he considers to all intents and purposes the forthcoming future of digital art.
From a job as a trader to entering Fortune’s ranking as one of the 50 most influential personalities in the crypto and NFT world to be co-founder and director of the Museum of Crypto Art. Let’s take a step back: when did everything change? When did you decide to open the museum?
The Museum opened in April 2020 after a meditation on virtual lands and the types of environments I wished to see in the Metaverse.
It was a rejection of hypercommodification and insistence that digital artists be the vanguards for these emergent open, digital worlds. MOCA was meant to be the first mental model for people entering the world of crypto art, so that they could begin to understand the history, the earliest artists, and the space’s raison d’etre.
From there we pushed the limits of surrealism with solo and group shows, in an exploration of what this new medium could be at the intersection of art, architecture, and design. The rest as they say is history.
How do you search for artists?
The lifeblood of crypto art has always been artists buying other artists’ works. So first I look for individuals who I know will reinvest the proceeds of their sales back into other artists.
From there, I love to see WHO they are investing in. I strongly suggest that collectors follow artists and not other collectors or certainly not social media “influencers”.
In your opinion, what kind of impact do the tech community and the crypto community have on the artists’ projects?
Crypto art is an expression of Ethereum as an open-access permissionless network. What it allows is the onboarding of global creativity without censorship, effectively straight from the artist to a global market. It is an exemplar or artistic freedom and an indelible permanent timestamp on the immutable ledger of blockchain.
It allows for both object and historical permanence and serves as a provable certificate of authenticity.