SURPRISE BONUS TALK ART EPISODE! Russell Tovey and Robert Diament chat to their friend, leading art advisor Simon Oldfield to discuss the art news hitting mainstream headlines this past week with digital artist Beeple selling his NFT artwork 'EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS' for an astonishing $69.3m at Christie's auction house. As a curator, advisor and lawyer fascinated by the convergence of art and technology, the emergence of NFTs into the mainstream is something Simon has predicted for many years. Twenty years ago he won a national award for his dissertation on the future of intellectual property in the Internet age:
"Few people understood the internet, fewer understood my arguments and even those who did thought it was an irrelevance. Dismissed as solutions to problems that would never exist. Well, they were wrong, clearly! Today we are on the cusp on something extraordinary within the art world - the crossroads of art, law and tech. It's an extremely complex world with major implications for the interaction of a global digital product and national laws. NFTs have enormous possibilities but potentially even greater pitfalls. After years of talking about digital art and its potential, often falling in deaf ears, it is literally all I have been talking about for the past month with #collectors, #artists, #lawyers, #fintech etc. Last week I gave a Zoom talk to over 200 people - heads of major law firms, CEOs, heads of banks etc. about NFTs and how art and the law around it is shaping the future. The wider potential and ramifications for NFTs (non-fungible tokens), the #blockchain, crypto currency, #smartcontracts, #cyrptography is extraordinary - in the literal sense of that word. We are living in the future."
A qualified lawyer with a degree and post-graduate diplomas from the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford, Simon also oversees a thriving Curatorial arts and culture programme. Since opening the Simon Oldfield Gallery, he has exhibited influential artists of all disciplines, discovered emerging talent and presented landmark exhibitions, and is currently organising an exhibition of Digital Art. He regularly spearheads collaborations with commercial partners including Burberry, Soho House and Hauser & Wirth, alongside non-profit and philianthropic collaborations with public institutions including the Tate, Turner Contemporary and the Royal Academy of Arts. He chairs and participates in talks and panel discussions on art, literature and culture and has featured in radio and podcasts including Talk Art, Monocle Radio 24 and the BBC. He has also written for various publications including Monocle, Harper's Bazaar and FT Weekend.
Simon co-founded the non-profit organisation Pindrop with Elizabeth Day (of the How To Fail hit podcast) which is dedicated to bringing together artists and other influential creative figures through its broad programme, public projects and podcast series. His recent book, A Short Affair, is a collection of original short fiction by bestselling authors including Ben Okri, Will Self, Elizabeth Day and Russell Tovey accompanied by original artworks from Tracey Emin, Eddie Peake and others artists from the Royal Academy of Arts. Follow @PindropStudio for news and their archive!
Listen to Talk Art here!