Street Art, Graffiti and NFTs

Copyright issues on the streets of Web3

  • Enrico Bonadio
  • Siri-Helen Egeland Institute of Law, School of Business and Law, University of Agder


There are numerous examples of street and graffiti artists using NFTs to monetize their physical art in the digital sphere. One reason for this might be that the digital medium combined with the cultural aspects surrounding the NFT scene, such as the sense of community connected to the art and tokens, also allows for street culture to be transferred with the street and graffiti art. One may think that in addition to this, Web3 and NFTs allow for a more democratic and direct link between artists who place their pieces in the street and their audiences. In this talk we will examine these background issues, and analyse the ideas and opinions of a number of street artists, graffiti writers and curators about the tokenisation of street art murals and exploitation via copyright. We will also combine legal analysis with artists’ real life experiences to discover fresh insights into the complexity of a rapidly evolving market for street art and graffiti. The talk is based on a chapter that is currently being written and will be published as part of a book examining NFTs and copyright from different perspectives.