Art Lover's Dictionary

In this section you will find all those terms, idioms or words that may be useful to you at your next vernissage, gallery or museum visit.


A one-of-one or NFT work of art is completely exclusive, it will never be made again. These are a bit like paintings in real life, in that only one exists. Because of their rarity, 1/1s are usually priced much higher than NFT editions.

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Airdropping is the process of distributing NFTs or coins directly into users' wallets, often for free. Airdrops are a great way for blockchain projects to attract new users or reward existing ones for their support.

There are different types of Airdrops. For example, individuals can get an airdrop in exchange for sharing a social media post or subscribing to a newsletter. Exclusive airdrops are sent to holders of a specific NFT or cryptocurrency collection as a thank you for their loyalty.

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An anthological exhibition is an exhibition that brings together the most significant works of an artist. Unlike a retrospective exhibition, which displays all the works in chronological order, in an anthological exhibition the works are displayed according to the criterion of importance.

Such exhibitions are also called monographic exhibitions.

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A tapestry is a decorative and artistic fabric that can depict complex scenes or images. Tapestry technique involves weaving threads of various hues to create intricate images and patterns. Tapestries are often hung on walls as works of art

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Art Flipping

Literally means "art pinball," or bouncing art. The term refers to the speculative practice of buying a work of art and reselling it as quickly as possible to maximise the profit.

It is generally the work of collectors interested in speculation. In the art market, this practice is not appreciated and can seriously jeopardise the career of an artist, especially if he is still alive.

One of the most cited examples of art flipping is the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat s' Warrior, a painting that was auctioned three times between 2005 and 2012, and in this period, the price rose by an incredible 450%.

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Conceptual art

Art movement in which the idea or concept behind the artwork is considered more important than the final product. Conceptual art works can take many forms, including writings, drawings, photographs and installations.

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Artists Run Gallery

Also known as collectives or cooperatives, these are galleries run exclusively by a group of artists.
They agree to pay a monthly or annual fee in exchange for one, two or more exhibitions per year.

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Assemblage is an art technique that involves assembling different objects to create a three-dimensional work of art. The objects can be anything from salvaged materials to machine parts, and are often glued or welded together to create unusual shapes and structures.

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The blockchain is a distributed database used to securely store data and information.

Rather than relying on a single centralised server, blockchain-powered cryptocurrency networks store data through distributed devices (nodes) around the world. Ultimately, these distributed devices can be anything from computers, laptops or even larger servers. They act as the structure of the blockchain, communicating with each other to allow data to be stored, disseminated and retained without the need for a trusted third party.

Thanks to nodes, the blockchain provides an immutable record - it is a decentralised proof-of-ownership vehicle that is unlike anything we have seen before.

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Blue Chip Artists

Artists of international renown who are widely recognised and consecrated by the world market.
Their price today already exceeds one million euros and it is expected that this figure will only increase.

The term derives from poker where the blue chip is the one with the highest value but the term blue chip is borrowed from the financial market where it denotes the most expensive shares that guarantee the best, stable and secure investment.

Examples of blue chip artists are Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons and Kaws.

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Body Art

Body art is a type of art that uses the human body as a canvas to create works of art. Body art can include body painting, piercings, tattoos, and other forms of body manipulation. Body art often explores themes such as identity, sexuality and politics.

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Calligraphy is the art of decorative and artistic writing, often used in the East. Calligraphy can be done freehand or with the help of special tools such as nibs, and often employs ancient and traditional writing techniques.

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The iridescent effect is a color effect that is achieved through the use of iridescent or reflective pigments that change color depending on the viewing angle. The iridescent effect can be used in painting, weaving and other art forms.

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Cold Wallet

A cold wallet is a more secure type of cryptocurrency wallet that is stored offline. Examples of cold wallets include paper wallets and hardware wallets. Hardware wallets are physical devices, many of which look like USB drives. A paper wallet is simply a piece of paper with your private and public keys printed on it. Of course, it is easy to lose or destroy a piece of paper. As a result, hardware wallets are typically seen as the most secure way to store tokens.

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Collage is an art technique that involves cutting and assembling different materials, such as paper, fabric, or photographs, to create a work of art. Collage can be done two- or three-dimensionally and often explores themes such as memory, identity, and popular culture.

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Art expert responsible for selecting, organizing, and presenting works of art in an exhibition or museum. The curator may also play a role in researching and interpreting works for the public.

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A DAO(decentralised autonomous organisation) is a type of organisation that is executed on the blockchain through the use of smart contracts.

Smart contracts establish the rules governing the DAO and are used to execute decisions. Unlike traditional businesses and organisations, where decisions are governed by centralised primary shareholders, DAOs are managed by a community of token holders. All governance token holders in a DAO are able to vote and have a say in key decisions. If a proposal reaches a predefined level of consensus (such as a certain number of votes), it is accepted and executed according to the rules within the smart contract. Many NFT projects create DAOs that allow NFT owners to vote on the future of the project.

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Discord is an instant messaging platform for voice, text and video. Users can converse and share files in private messages or in more public communities called'servers'. Each server can contain a number of chat rooms. Discord has become the primary means of communication for many NFT and Web3 communities. Most NFT projects have a dedicated Discord where creators, NFT owners and the general public can connect and share updates. To access these servers, users need an invitation link.

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Encaustic is a painting technique that involves the use of pigments mixed with hot wax. The encaustic technique has been used since ancient times and is often associated with Greek and Roman art. Encaustic can be used on a variety of surfaces, including wood, canvas, and stone.

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Abstract Expressionism

20th-century art movement that emerged in the United States, characterized by abstract works that express emotions, moods, and feelings through the use of nonrepresentational shapes and colors. Prominent exponents include Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.

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Ethereum is the main blockchain used in the Web3 ecosystem due to its size and security. It is the most popular blockchain for NFTs for the same reason. Ether is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. It is used to power all transactions that take place on the blockchain, including peer-to-peer payments, NFT trading, crypto gaming and more.

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FIAT is defined as the currency that is declared by the government of a country as legal tender. Examples of fiat currencies include the US dollar, euro, yen, pound sterling, etc. Unlike other historical currencies, which were backed by the value of a physical commodity, such as gold or silver, the value of fiat is derived from its supply and demand, as well as the stability of the issuing government.

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Copyright forgery

They are reproductions of well-known works, not only paintings but more generally figurative works, executed by contemporary artists who simultaneously issue a certificate of non-authenticity.

These works constitute an increasingly growing market. They are not considered a counterfeit, as their non-authenticity is expressly indicated at the time of sale. It is such an established market that it deserves legal protection within the cultural heritage and landscape code, and commissions run into thousands of euros.

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Floor Price

The minimum price of an NFT collection is the lowest price listed in the entire collection. The value of a collection is often dictated by its minimum price.

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Commercial Gallery

Art gallery, run by private individuals, which exhibits the work of artists in exchange for a commission on the sale.
Usually works on consignment: the artist delivers one or more works to the gallery owner who promotes them with the aim of selling them.

Onstream Gallery is a commercial gallery.

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Non Profit Gallery

Gallery operating on a non-profit basis, financed by donations from public or private bodies.
It organises exhibitions, events and shows during which the artists' works are not for sale, but in some cases can be purchased.

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Gas Fee

Literally'gas tax', which is the payment due for completing a transaction on a blockchain. These fees are used to compensate the miners of the blockchain for the computing power they must use to verify blockchain transactions, and are typically paid in the blockchain's native cryptocurrency. The price fluctuates based on network congestion. As a result, the more people who use the network, the higher the gas fee.

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Literally translated it means ".keepers or guardians".

Gatekeepers, or so-called tastemakersare those who have the power to give or deny access to the art world and the art market.

They are recognised as the experts and are the first to receive the key information among insiders.

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Hot Wallet

A hot wallet is a digital wallet held online. It is connected to the blockchain, allowing you to store, send and receive tokens. It can be accessed from any device, anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection and your own private keys. Since they are connected to the internet, they tend to be less secure and prone to hacking. MetaMask is an example of a hot wallet.

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Three-dimensional artwork designed for a specific space, which may involve different media, materials and objects. Installations can be temporary or permanent and often involve a public interaction component.

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Land Art

Land art is a type of art that uses nature as a support and raw material to create outdoor works of art. Land art often includes site-specific sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between humans and the natural environment.

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Limited Edition

A limited edition is a collection of NFTs in which there is a finite number of NFTs available to be minted. Many collections consist of 10,000 editions.

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The Metaverse is best defined as a fusion of physical and virtual reality - as a kind of digital extension of the real world.

According to this futuristic vision of tomorrow, everyday reality will be transformed, and people will live, play, shop and work with others around the world in a fully immersive and interoperable augmented world. Many Web3 protocols, such as NFT, can be used in the future Metaverse.

For example, the Bored Ape Yacht Club's (BAYC) NFT collection has centred much of its utility on gaming experiences and digital events that combine physical and virtual reality in the Metaverse.

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A miner is an individual, company or institution that mines cryptocurrency. In other words, they use their computers to process other people's transactions and add them to the blockchain. Miners are essential because they are responsible for the operation of the blockchain network and its security. Miners are usually rewarded with coins or tokens for their work.

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In simple terms, minting is the act of adding, validating and registering an NFT to the blockchain. Once minted, the NFT is available for public consumption and can be viewed, purchased and traded on the open market. That said, NFTs need not be made public and can be kept private.

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An NFT is a digital token of information (data) that lives on a blockchain. Each NFT has its own identification code and metadata. As a result, NFTs are unique and non-interchangeable, i.e. they are "non-fungible". The data contained in an NFT can be linked to digital files such as photos, poems, songs, albums, videos, avatars and more. In this sense, NFTs are most often used to buy and sell digital objects (and of course, art). However, they can also be used to give the NFT owner access to exclusive merchandise and airdrops, tickets to live or digital events, and more.

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Open Edition

An open edition is an NFT collection in which any number of pieces can be minted. However, do not confuse "open" with "unlimited". Many open editions are only available for minting for certain periods of time before being discarded.

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Performance Art

Art form involving the action or presence of the performer, often in real time and in front of an audience. Performance can include elements of theater, dance, music, poetry and other disciplines.

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Painting en plein air

Outdoor painting technique that relies on direct observation of the landscape and natural light. It was especially popular among the French Impressionists of the 19th century.

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Literally translated it means 'appearing suddenly'. Pop-ups in fact are those banner ads that appear on websites. In the art world, pop-up is borrowed to mean something temporary, existing for a short period of time.

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The ready-made is a common, often industrial object used as a work of art, without modification. The ready-made was developed by the Dada art movement and often defies traditional conventions

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Process of preserving and repairing a work of art that has been damaged or deteriorated over time. Restoration may involve cleaning, removing paints added later, repairing missing or broken parts, and protecting the work from further damage.

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Literally it means: looking back. In fact, a retrospective is an exhibition dedicated entirely to an artist (most often an artist with a long history) that retraces the fundamental stages of his artistic career. It is therefore an exhibition that takes into consideration the works of each period of the artist, retracing his expressive history in chronological order.

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A royalty is a fixed amount of income you receive in exchange for owning, creating or licensing a work. Many NFT creators receive secondary royalties or a predetermined percentage of the sale price each time their work is sold on an NFT marketplace. Therefore, NFT creators do not just earn money the first time their work is sold. They earn from every transaction.

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Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is theanonymous creator(s) of Bitcoin. The smallest unit of Bitcoin (0.00000001), called Satoshi, is named after them. Satoshi Nakamoto also created the Bitcointalk forum, posting the forum's first message. Satoshi is also known as the author of the infamous whitepaper, 'Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System'.

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Kinetic sculpture

Three-dimensional artwork that incorporates movement, often through the use of motors, wind or other external forces. Kinetic sculptures can involve the audience or be autonomous.

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Smart Contract

A smart contract is a computer programme that lives on the blockchain. It is governed by rudimentary"if/when...then" statements. For example, "if 'a' happens, then execute step 'b'". Once these predetermined terms are met, the transaction is automatically executed and recorded on the blockchain. This increases transparency and trust, as the transaction is immutable (cannot be challenged or changed) and no third-party intermediaries are needed to complete it.

NFTs are minted and traded using smart contracts that assign ownership, access assets within the NFT, manage the transferability of the NFT, and so on.

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A token is a cryptocurrency that does not have its own blockchain technology; instead, it operates on top of the blockchain of another currency. Tokens are generally not used as a currency (like a coin) but primarily to represent autility, a commodity, or both.

For example, Golem tokens (GNTs) are hosted on Ethereum's blockchain and depend on its network to perform specific tasks.

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Trompe l'oeil

Painting technique that creates the illusion of a three-dimensional object or scene on a two-dimensional surface. Literally, "deceives the eye" in French.

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Trompe l'oeil

A pictorial effect that tricks the eye, creating the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface.

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Vanity Gallery

In Italian they are also called, 'showcase galleries'. These are galleries that exhibit the works of artists for a fee. Their primary source of income comes mainly from the rent of their walls and not from commissions on sales.

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Opening event of an art exhibition, often with a reception where artists, art critics, and enthusiasts gather to celebrate and discuss the works on display.

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A digital wallet, or digital wallet, is a software or hardware application that stores private keys and allows users to interact with the blockchain.

Crypto wallets are classified into two main categories: hot wallets and cold wallets. Wallets can be used to send and receive coins, as well as to confirm their availability.

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A whitelist is a group of users who are given early access to purchase an item from an NFT collection before the project is available to the public. The whitelist is usually small, with a select group of users who are selected by the NFT creators as a way to generate interest before the public mint.

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