New Company “Particle” to Sell Fractional Ownership of Pricey Artworks as NFTs

Executive Loic Gouzer has helped found the company Particle, a platform that merges art and technology with a goal of reaching a broader pool of potential buyers. The company, Particle, hopes to establish a meta-museum.

“When I was a kid and I was looking at auctions and catalogs, I always felt it was impossible to participate financially and that I was by definition excluded,” Gouzer said in a telephone interview. “Fractionalizing the work in 10,000 NFTs allows a much wider audience to be part of a collecting experience.

“Of course you can enjoy art when you go to a museum, but the enjoyment from art comes also with owning it,” he said. “That’s why people collect.”

Particle will buy physical artworks, digitize them, and then divide each into 10,000 unique NFTs—or, you guessed it, particles. Copping one is like purchasing a piece of a virtual puzzle: you can claim ownership, but you can’t hang it in your home.

Particle announced its first purchase: Banksy’s 2005 painting Love Is in the Air, which Gouzer, the company’s head of acquisitions, snagged for $12.9 million at Sotheby’s in May. The group will debut that first piece of their budding collection this Friday at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.

“The painting perfectly aligns with the philosophy that we’re going for, which is bringing humanity’s greatest works to everyone through a decentralized, open platform and giving power to organic communities to grow,” said Particle C.E.O. Harold Eytan. “Banksy is all about that—inclusivity and allowing more people access to fine art.”

On December 13, collectors can apply to buy their own particles of Love is in the Air, priced at $1,500 a pop. At that rate, selling all 10,000 NFTs would allow the company to more or less come out even (after moving 100 particles and a percentage of the royalties to the Foundation, that is).

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