A painting of David Salle

David Salle, A Well-Leafed Tree, 2021

Entering the crowded NFT space in late 2021 presented an opportunity for DMINTI, a new digital arts agency, to try something different.

“We wanted to do something that would give artists a great opportunity to enter into this world,” said Jennifer Stockman, a cofounder and former president of the Guggenheim Museum’s board of trustees. “But not by just focusing on the artist but the production and exhibition of this work and bringing in museums, institutions, and collectors.”

Looking to help artists in more traditional media (like painting and sculpture) pivot to digital, DMINTI reached out to painter David Salle. His new NFT work A Well-Leafed Tree (2021) launched the agency on Sunday after it was minted on the NFT platform SuperRare.

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A Well-Leafed Tree is an animation based on Salle’s paintings inspired by Peter Arno’s New Yorker cartoons from the 1930s and ’40s. Though the animation doesn’t exactly capture the painterly quality Salle suffuses into his art, it could be a hit on the NFT market nevertheless.

DMINTI’s approach is to tailor their NFTs to an artists’s existing work, helping participants tap into a wild market. Carola Jain, DMINTI’s CEO and another cofounder, said, “We with meet with them, we take a look at their body of work, consult with experts and try to understand where the opportunity lies for an NFT or a different Web3 experience, and then we help the artists produce that work.”

In Salle’s case, he’s always wanted to do an animation. Why not execute that and turn it into an NFT? In a promotional video, Salle adds, “The ability to make things move is a bonus–paintings don’t move.”

Other artists the company plans to work with include Sarah Meyohas, Oscar Murillo, and Sarah Morris, and former Guggenheim chief curator Nancy Spector has been brought on board to help expand DMINTI’s pool of artists. “Between her knowledge of artists and my own knowledge as a collector and our respective teams, we are reaching out to many wonderful top artists,” Stockman said.

Like other burgeoning NFT companies, buzzwords like accessibility and democracy are also part of DMINTI’s game plan. Jain said, “This whole shift into a different art world is really about democratizing art and making it accessible to many more people around the world.”