Case Study: An Onchain Provenance & Portfolio Platform for NFT Art Managers


Exceptional artists spend their days immersed in the art-creating process. Some are so deeply focused on creating that they neglect all the other steps required to build a brand and make a living. That is, unless the artists join forces with an art agent and/or manager.

Art management is an underrated role in the NFT art ecosystem. When discussing artists and curators — galleries or museums — that exhibit their art, we can easily miss that a connection must first be made between artists and curators. Art management agents take over this important step. They pitch artists to curators and galleries not only to sell their art but also to help the artists build credibility over time.

Hildabroom Management, or HILDA for short, is an artist management firm “focused on growing the reach of artists in the digital and physical realms,” as its tagline states. HILDA supports artists with getting out pitches to curators, coordinating connections and events, and documenting everything.

In this article, we explore the world of art agents and management firms and examine how HILDA uses Atomic Form to present artists to galleries like Colonna Contemporary.

Great art agent work doesn’t scale easily

At a superficial glance, the work of art agents seems straightforward. After all, artists and their agents share the same interests and goals. Agents work to get artists into shows and exhibitions. They can also manage the artists’ social media presence, marketing, and even accounting.

However, agents face a fundamental problem that is rooted in the very nature of their work: the need to balance time and complexity.

Art agencies work for multiple artists, yet each of them deserves the agency's full attention and time. Nevertheless, agencies need to focus on activities with a high return on investment to stay in business. To get both time and complexity under control, agencies must build highly efficient workflows. In this context, agencies face a particular challenge:

How can they make an artist visible to curators –

  • quickly and with low effort;

  • deeply, which includes providing plenty of details about the artist’s pieces of work, their histories, whereabouts, and accompanying this with a verifiable track record.

To achieve a delicate balance between the two requirements, agencies need capable tools for collecting the details and building up a track record. NFT lore is the fundamental building block for this track record.

NFT lore is a “shop window” for artists, agencies, and curators alike

In traditional arts, the value of art is derived from multiple factors: The aesthetics and virtuosity of a piece, the artist’s reputation, the originality, the history, and other aspects that ultimately form a catalogue raisonné for a piece of art.

Unfortunately, the NFTs/web3 space hasn’t caught up to these standards yet. Sure, onchain records show the NFT’s price and history of ownership. However, we are nowhere close to capturing the rest of the provenance that would make up one’s onchain, verifiable catalogue raisonné.

Provenance emerges from building a track record of an artwork’s history: its creation, all exhibits at galleries and shows, and everything that happens around the artwork, such as mentions in social media and other places. All this information, collected from all the artist’s artworks, adds considerable value to the artist’s portfolio. This information should, therefore, be provable and stored safely.

Today, more and more artists and agencies are relying on Atomic Lore to preserverecord the history of an NFT over time. This growing record builds up an NFT’s lore and, at the same time, creates a living résumé for the artist. Atomic Lore cryptographically verifies and permanently stores everything that is added to an NFT’s lore, thus increasing the evidence for, and hence the value of, each added artifact.

Over time, the accumulated lore of an artist’s NFTs becomes a valuable part of evaluating the artist’s oeuvre beyond the work itself.

Above and beyond this, Atomic Lore creates a compound interest effect for all involved parties.

  • The artist can build up a portfolio of their performances and services, including comments, shares, and feedback from the public

  • The agency can improve its workflow and time management, thus improving its ability to handle more artists

  • The curator can quickly get profound insights into an artist’s work and assess the artist based on verifiable provenance

Additionally, all three parties can –

  • sell at better pricing due to the trust factor of verified provenance (improves appraisal $),

  • and build up a portfolio of artwork they created, offered, or curated, respectively.

Having a verified provenance stored securely on Web3 services is a massive improvement over traditional means of art presentation and evaluation.

Connecting the dots: HILDA, Colonna Contemporary, Bhare, and Atomic Lore

Let's dive deeper into the three contributors and benefactors of those contributing to the lore.


HILDA is an artist management company that bridges the gap between artists and curators, helping to create meaningful connections and opportunities. What began as a side project has evolved into a full-time business, with HILDA working tirelessly to secure spots for their artists in prestigious shows and exhibitions. Their mission extends beyond mere representation; they are committed to building sustainable careers for the artists they work with.

Provenance is crucial for establishing value and authenticity. In the traditional art world, however, the methods for building provenance are rudimentary and limited. The NFT art world is a different game. HILDA can tap into existing provenance stored in Atomic Lore and collect more events and artifacts related to the NFT as they occur on the web. This is particularly important on social media platforms that suffer from short memory. Saving this short-lived content on Atomic Lore creates a comprehensive record of an artist’s journey.

In HILDA’s words, “We're working directly with artists to build sustainable careers. Recording and providing a CV + Provenance packet in the traditional art world is standard, albeit a pile of papers collected over who knows how many years… Comparing that to now, with digital art, is quite interesting. Instead of chasing provenance over decades and centuries, we're laser-focused on catching the significant moments in a social media landscape with a shorter memory than a goldfish. (No offense to goldfish!)”

Bhare’s exhibition at Colonna Contemporary

An example of HILDA’s success is the story of Bhare, an artist who creates images with acrylic paint on canvas (and other surfaces) composed of shapes and figures that virtuously combine abstract and figurative painting. After Bhare had first connected to Colonna Contemporary through fellow artist ADHD, HILDA stepped in during the creative planning process to help secure the auction and real-life solo gallery event at Colonna.

Collecting the provenance around Bhare’s solo exhibition Building a Happier Home began with signing and countersigning a proof of exhibition through Atomic Sign. Atomic Form then documented the entire history of the event on Atomic Lore, including both the auction and the gallery event. An example is the painting Mid Pacific Atlanta, whose proof of exhibition and provenance are stored safely with Atomic Lore.

The result of this provenance-building process was a resounding success: Bhare is now listed at Colonna Contemporary, and the collected provenance also played a role in placing the show at Artnet, further increasing the artist’s reach and reputation.

Michele Colonna, founder of Colonna Contemporary, sees an “incredible leverage Lore and PoE offers [artists and agencies] when pitching collab opportunities to legacy brands. For art management/agencies firms like HILDA, the real revenue drivers are the collab deals they eventually make with legacy brands, say, for example, Bhare x Diesel, and those brands are all about social validation. That’s ultimately the end game because there’s not enough revenue from the fine art-related activities to make it sustainable for an agency. That’s the big unlock.”

Provenance is a long-term game

The value of art is connected to its provenance. This has been true over the entire history of art. Collectors love the stories behind a piece of art as much as they love the piece of art itself. In fact, the stories have a high impact on a collector’s buying decision. Still, the impact of provenance is difficult to measure when the accumulated lore reaches back only weeks or months. Provenance increases value over the long term.

This shouldn’t distract us from taking the process of building provenance seriously. Every artifact related to an NFT must be meticulously collected, verified, approved, and securely stored for ages to come. Building up provenance like Atomic Lore already makes a difference to everyone involved in NFT creation, collection, and exposition, to artists, agencies, galleries, and the NFT community as a whole. Verifiable proofs of exhibition and exposition on social media are of immediate significance, but also contribute to the NFT’s future value.

Bhare is a prominent example of Atomic Lore’s impact on efficient provenance building, but he is not the only one. HILDA also successfully uses Atomic Lore with other artists:

“Of the many examples I have from this past year, I'd love to highlight the upcoming Brand drop we're doing with a one of a kind artist in @Cat_Russell_. Cat takes a unique approach to art and provenance for the long-term as he’s often spending months on a single work of art. Recording that unique journey, the events, shows, videos,tools and supplies, whatever it may be are so important in telling Cat's story to the under-informed.”

Empowerment for agents

Great art management builds upon a close relationship between the artist and the agency. Atomic Lore moves the tedious parts of collecting, verifying, and storing provenance out of the way, leaving more time for agencies to work with artists and galleries. Moreover, with Atomic Lore, an NFT’s lore is readily available to any curator, creating the “shop window” effect described earlier.

For every art agency, efficiency is the key to managing many artists while keeping a close relationship with each one. If you are an art agency, Atomic Lore can be your single most important tool to optimize your workflows. Free your time and mind for working with your clients to increase their reputation, community size, and sales.

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