With the NFT (non-fungible tokens) craze showing no signs of slowing down, YMU Group – which manages such artists as Blink-182, Steve Aoki, Morrissey, Common and many more — is launching YMU Arts to, according to a press release shared exclusively with me, “Specialize in representing digital artists and traditional artists as they transition to the digital space.”
Artist 3LAU (real name Justin Blau) who made headlines recently when he sold 33 NFTs for 11.6 million dollars, will serve as the new division’s Director Of Strategy, and will be the new group’s ambassador in the NFT scene.
“I am beyond excited to join YMU Arts as Director of Strategy, facilitating new artist development & on boarding renowned names to the NFT revolution,” Blau said in a statement. “I am thankful to my managers Andrew Goldstone and Taren Smith who have helped me navigate the latest explosion of NFT interest, and I look forward to extending management services to talent that shares our passion for the digital asset realm.”
While Blau brings the musical sensibility to YMU Arts, the art component will come from Managing Director Jori Teplitzky, who has more than a decade in the art world and has worked, according to a release, “Across animation, illustration, digital collage and digital photography. She has also worked extensively digital artists including: Antoni Tudisco, Anthony Schepperd, Jason Ebeyer, Johnny McHone and Dugan Warmouth among others.”
Teplitzky will be based in Los Angeles and work directly with Matt Colon, Managing Director of YMU Music. Colon, who works with Aoki, among others, and Goldstone, who reps Blau, will be on the board of directors of YMU Arts.
“YMU Arts will help create an environment that will support and empower both digital and traditional artists as they make the transition to the NFT marketplace,” she says. “I am looking forward to working with Justin and to embrace the opportunity to discover, develop and represent the artists we work with. NFTs create an elegant solution for artists to sell their work in its original form to be enjoyed via virtual galleries and digital frames, allowing collectors to effortlessly showcase different pieces throughout the day. NFTs also represent a groundbreaking paradigm shift for artists to participate in the resale of their work while also creating a direct relationship between creatives and their audience.”
The new division is kicking off with two signings, Mike Parisella aka Slimesunday. a digital collage artist based in Boston MA , and photographer Tyler Shields, who will be exclusively represented in the NFT space.
For a company like YMU, which launched with the idea to become an integrated management organization across music, drama, sports and more, continuing to expand their reach into the digital arts world is a natural extension, as it allows them to continue to broaden their reach across more worlds of popular culture.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Mary Bekhait, Group CEO of YMU. “YMU has long recognized the synergies that the digital art sector has with our existing divisions and the launch of YMU Arts feels like a very natural step for our company,” she says. “Our clients are amongst the leading innovators in the NFT space and working closer with digital artists is something we are very committed to. As experienced global talent representatives we are already focused on enabling creative people to develop their ideas and launch their projects, while ensuring they are properly rewarded for their work.”