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The Beatles NFT auction: Why it's a huge deal for artists

The Beatles NFT
(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

The Beatles NFT memorabilia auction could be a big deal for artists too. If you want to own John Lennon's famous Help! cape or the Beatles' Afghan coat from Magical Mystery Tour, now you can. Kind of.

John's son, Julien Lennon, is set to auction off real world collectibles at The Lennon Connection: The NFT Collection on 7 February, and it will include John Lennon's famous Help! cape. But while you can get the cape, you can't wear it. 

Sounds confusing? NFTs can be, that's why we've explained all you need to know in our guide, What are NFTs? And if you want to create an NFT, we have it covered in our how to make and sell an NFT tutorial.

For physical items and art, owning an NFT of, say, John Lennon's Help! cape means you own the digital 'deed', which can be tracked on the blockchain. This creates a traceable authentication. But what does the merging of real world art and NFTs mean for artists?

The Beatles NFTs, let them be

John Lennon NFT

Own a piece of rock history as an NFT (Image credit: Julien Lennon)

We're now seeing the rise of NFTs being 'minted' from real life, physical items. This puts a whole new spin on what NFTs could mean for artists and creators. Those bidders who win the auction to own that famous Help! cape won't own the physical item but photos and audio logs, narrated by Julien Lennon, to accompany a 'proof of ownership' of the cape.

The Julien Lennon approach means an artist can retain their paintings and sculptures but offer the digital ownership to someone else as an NFT. But this is only one kind of contract. An artist could offer the physical art and NFT together, transferring ownership jointly.

The advantage of NFTs used in this way can enable artists to earn from future sales. If the contract is set up for it, an artist can sell their physical painting and NFT together and they will be forever tied to the art and earn a percentage from resales.

Art has a new future

The Currency

Damien Hirst's The Currency is offers 10,000 NFTs tied to 10,000 physical artworks  (Image credit: Damien Hirst)

Combining physical art and NFTs, such as Damien Hirst's The Currency, that offers 10,000 NFTs which correspond to 10,000 unique physical artworks, does require trust on the part of the NFT buyer. There's nothing to stop the creator selling the art and this could see a rise in NFT art sold in galleries and stores.

While the Lennon Connection: The NFT Collection doesn't go as far as transferring physical ownership, having such high profile projects begin to link real world items to NFTs points to a future where creators can take greater control of their art.

Some of the proceeds from sales of The Lennon Connection: The NFT Collection will benefit Julian Lennon’s White Feather Foundation (opens in new tab).

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Ian Dean is Digital Arts & Design Editor at Creative Bloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut, SFX, and assisted on The Idler. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his love to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5.