The art market has been transformed with the advent of NFT technology now enabling people to buy, curate and showcase their digital artwork on their TVs and displays. In 2021, the NFT art market exploded to $22B globally with sales like the Christie's Beeple $69M "Everydays: The First 5,000 Days".
Scott Birnbaum, a renowned tech visionary who identified the digital art ecosystem opportunity and developed the business plan and tech platform for TVs and displays when he was Samsung's VP leading the Display Business for the Americas in Silicon Valley, was not surprised by the NFT art market's arrival and rapid early growth. Birnbaum foresaw the opportunity for digital art to be purchased, curated and enjoyed on televisions and displays when he presented this opportunity to Samsung executives more than a decade ago.
Birnbaum was delighted to see his digital art vision commercialized with Samsung's #CES announcement on January 3, 2022 that they are launching their NFT art ecosystem which enables art collectors to showcase their own art collection and add to it right from their 2022 Samsung TV.
As Samsung's VP of Displays, Birnbaum envisioned art on televisions when they turned off as early as 2008. He saw how quickly books, music and movies were digitized. He knew art was soon to follow this enabled tech path. In 2008, Birnbaum debuted the Digital Masterwork's TV partnership between Samsung and a prominent artist. A demo was showcased at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco where it received rave reviews from the press. In a June 2008 EE Times article by Mark LaPedus, Birnbaum said: ''Imagine having a piece of museum-quality fine art right above your mantle and then as you sink into the couch instantly switch to American Idol, the latest sports playoffs, or a Blu-ray action movie at the touch of a button."
As cloud computing developed, Birnbaum's vision at Samsung continued to evolve. In a 2011 CNET interview with Leslie Katz, when Birnbaum was Samsung's VP of New Business, he said: "The digital fine art market has a great opportunity to create a new ecosystem for consumers to be able to capture, share, purchase, and then actually view the art just like they do in a gallery today."
Birnbaum understood that this was a global TV and display industry and art world opportunity much larger than one company, so he launched MORF AI, Inc., partnering with Steve Matson, MORF AI's Chief Creative Officer, and Nicolas Donel, MORF AI's Chief Technical Officer, to bring this art ecosystem vision to billions of TVs and displays worldwide with a simple plug and play proprietary device, MORF AI's ArtStick™. MORF AI's ArtStick™ is a trojan horse, MORF'ing any screen into custom curated personal galleries by simply plugging it into an HDMI port. Now an entire digital art collection can be easily easily moved from screen to screen without restrictions of a walled garden.
ArtSticks have been featured at prestigious digital art shows such as the October 2021 Deeep™ AI Art Fair co-founded by MORF AI in London and featured on Samsung's 'The Wall' displays in the United Kingdom.
The ArtStick, combined with digital art from MORF AI's initial featured artists, has been purchased by hundreds of discerning art collectors and investors around the world. MORF AI's ArtStick also has B2B commercial applications including the use in medical applications at hospitals by partner Aesthetics in their Rejuvenation Stations reducing stress in hospital workers.
Birnbaum's MORF AI co-founders have deep art, tech and business backgrounds that have accelerated their company and ArtStick's launch. Steve Matson, Chief Creative Officer, painted environments for Oscar winning and iconic films like Life of Pi, Polar Express, Star Wars. Matson combined his fine art painting with digital visual effects to pioneer "Moving Paintings" taking up to 10 months to produce. Donel, Chief Technical Officer, is the creator of the ArtStick technology.
Donel is a matte painter and an environment artist on Oscar winning Hollywood films and AAA games when he realized a device was needed to encrypt, store and playback digital art for artists. And MORF AI's new Chief Marketing Officer, Steven Cook, is bringing his previous experience as Samsung's CMO and SVP for North America, Coca-Cola's Global VP Strategic Marketing, and P&G's Global Director Marketing.
The MORF AI 2021 launch included an initial range of world-class featured digital artists and their artworks like Pindar Van Arman, Oxia Palus, Daniel Ambrosi, Kevin Mack, Steve Matson and Machina Infinitum. MORF AI works closely with artists to bring their artwork onto MORF AI's ArtStick.
MORF AI is now expanding the ArtStick's capabilities and is beginning licensing discussions with a range of TV and display manufacturers, forging retail and gallery plans and strategic partnerships, and creating future Deeep™ AI Art Fairs in Europe, Silicon Valley and Asia.
MORF AI has been featured in top art publications, news outlets and global conferences including The Smithsonian, Artnet News, The Times UK, The Herald, PC Magazine, SingularityU Greece Summit and the P&G Global Alumni Conference. Later this month MORF AI will be featured on NVIDIA's AI Podcast.
If you want to explore where the art world is going next, you can meet up with Scott Birnbaum during CES. [email protected]