Alexander S. C. Rower, the grandson of artist Alexander Calder and president of the Calder Foundation, is a self-proclaimed NFT skeptic. He had fielded numerous pitches about the possibility of an Alexander Calder NFT by the time he spoke with TRLab founders Xin Li-Cohen and Audrey Ou at Art Basel Miami Beach last December. That’s when something finally clicked.
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Traditional artists such as U.S.-based Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who didn't have prior experience with digital art or blockchain technology, are drawn to TRLab because of this approach, and the fact the platform works with artists to realize their ideas. In July, Cai's Transient Eternity—101 Ignitions of Gunpowder Paintings, fetched US$2.5 million through a TRLab auction.
TRLab, a platform for collecting art in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), raised $4.2 million in a funding round to diversify its collection. Co-founder Xin Li-Cohen, also the non-executive deputy chairman at Christie's, shares insights into the raise, Christie's role as TRLab's marketing partner, and NFT trends to watch in 2022.
Amid the explosion of NFT initiatives of the last year looking to cash in on the crypto-art craze, how do you stand out? The six-month-old TR Lab (for the Latin term “tabula rasa” or blank slate) thinks it has the answer, with a considered mix of newbie artists and seasoned art-world stars, a focus on measures to build real community—and, above all, a powerhouse leadership team.
TRLab is Born
Record breaking NFT sale of $2.5M
Exploding the Self
Genesis community release
First cross-medium collaboration between leading authors and artists IRL exhibition to come in Shanghai
David Ariew X Tatler China:
The Philanthropic Journey of an NFT Artwork
NFT artwork appeared as cover of a major magazine Proceeds benefiting Save The Children charity
Your Daytime Fireworks
Invites NFT players to embark on a magical journey to explore and participate in Cai's world of daytime fireworks
Fly the “Car”
Collaboration with leading digital artist
Sound the “Bell”
Wear the “Blue”
Skip the “Sleep”
To be Continued
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What people are saying about TRLab
Cozomo de’ Medici
Last year I was thrilled to collect 'Exploding the Self' by one of China's greatest artists, @CaiGuoQiang. But I'm even more into his new work, 'Daytime Fireworks', in which collectors' actions determine rarity. But I'm even more into his new work, 'Daytime Fireworks', in which collectors' actions determine rarity. Creating a bond between artist & collector, imo, is why NFTs win ❤️🔥
It was honestly one of the best experiences this year, from the drop mechanic, the concept to the reaction to the work, thank you. It means a lot.
I believe that Cai, even after becoming one of our world's most celebrated artists, has another act in pushing web3 forward with @trlab_. we are really gonna do this, but in the metaverse, aren't we.
Do NOT sleep on what @trlab_, @brokenthread and @CaiGuoQiang are creating with Your Daytime Fireworks!
It’s my honor and pleasure, working with TRLab is def the best experience I ever had! Can’t wait to see TRLab’s new project next year!!!