Loïc Gouzer, former Christie’s Rainmaker, launches new venture to sell fractional ownership of expensive artwork as NFT

Former Christie’s Co-President Loïc Gouzer is embarking on the NFT game with his latest adventure. Particle, as his new business is called, aims to democratize access to major works of art through fractional ownership and establish a meta-museum along the way.

Particle will buy physical works of art, scan them, and then divide them each into 10,000 unique NFTs or, you guessed it, particles. Cutting one is like buying a piece of a virtual puzzle: you can claim ownership of it, but you can’t hang it in your house.

During this time, the original work will live in the Particle Foundation, a public trust whose mission, according to the company, is to “maintain, preserve and display the collection on behalf of the particle community”. The nonprofit will also receive one percent of the particles in each artwork (a guarantee against collectors attempting to purchase full control), as well as a small, unspecified portion of the royalties. (The company is committed to never selling these particles or the physical works of art from which they are born.)

“It’s a paradigm shift,” Gouzer told Artnet News. “Our feeling is that we are at a time when people want to feel more involved, especially in the art world, where it has not been easy for people to access it.”

“For us, it’s really about collecting versus investing,” added co-founder Adam Lavine. “It’s about being part of a community that is fueling something rather than just being in a fund with a bunch of other investors. “

Today, Particle announced its first purchase: the 2005 Banksy painting. Love is in the air, which Gouzer, the company’s head of acquisitions, landed for $ 12.9 million at Sotheby’s in May. The group will present this Friday the first piece of its nascent collection at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami.

“The painting aligns perfectly with the philosophy that we are looking for, which is to bring humanity’s greatest works to everyone through a decentralized and open platform and to empower organic communities to grow.” , said Harold Eytan, CEO of Particle. “Banksy is all about that: inclusiveness and allowing more people to access fine art. “

On December 13th, collectors can request to purchase their own particles of Love is in the air, priced at $ 1,500 each. At this rate, selling the 10,000 NFTs would allow the company to exit more or less even (after transferring 100 particles and a percentage of the royalties to the Foundation, that is).

This is usually the idea, Eytan explained, to offer at cost a piece of art purchased from the particle community. For this reason, auctions, where prices are public, will be the main starting point for acquisitions. The company, in turn, will rely on aftermarket sales for its revenue (much like the coin mechanism of an NFT pockets a cup every time the coin is sold, they pointed out.)

“While everyone’s talking about the metaverse, we are creating the foundations for a meta-museum, a blockchain-powered platform where people around the world can own and interact with masterpieces of art. on the Internet and in the physical world, ”Oscar said. Salazar, another co-founder (there are five in total), in a statement.

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