For the first time, a digital artwork in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) was sold at a major auction house. The price of the painting by Mike Winkelmann aka “Beeple” was a record high of $69 million. A milestone for NFTs?
“5000 Days” was the first all-digital NFT sold by Christie’s. The first time the auction house agreed to accept payments in Ether (ETH). Last year, they already sold an NFT by British artist Robert Alice. However, this one was linked to a physical work. The piece sold for $131,250, which seems like pittance after “5000 Days.”
NFT art by Beeple
The final minutes of Beeple’s auction on Thursday drew several million visitors to the site from 11 countries. Not surprisingly, given the sale’s success, Christie’s revealed that it plans to hold more digital art auctions in the future. The auction house will eventually raise some of the $69.3 million itself. Probably more than 10%, with the bulk of the proceeds going to Beeple.
Beeple has posted an image online every day since 2007. The work sold at Christie’s is a collection of these images. Many of them cheeky indictments of our modern, technology-obsessed lives. Until 2020, he wasn’t well known, even though he has collaborated with big brands like Louis Vuitton, Nike and Coca-Cola. His so-called Everydays often take place on alien worlds – or possibly on an alien-looking Earth where commerce and humans have run amok.
Led by Beeple, the NFT market has already seen more than $400 million in transactions in 2021. This is far more than what took place in all of last year. The second most expensive NFT ($7.5 million) ever sold is a CryptoPunk, one of the most popular NFT collectibles.
Digital Art Exhibition in Beijing
China’s leading art institution, UCCA, is now hosting an NTF and Crypto art exhibition as part of its UCCA Lab, which it describes as an “interdisciplinary platform for new types of collaboration between art and other fields.” Sun Bohan, CEO of art company BlockCreateArt, is the curator. Digital Finance Group and Winkrypto are co-hosting the show.
As generational tastes shift, we felt it was important to support an exhibition that showcases the interest of a demographic that has received little institutional attention. We hope this exhibition will help push the dialogue about Crypto art from the margins into the mainstream.Elliot Safra, partner at co-organizer AndArt Agency
The exhibition, titled “Virtual Niche – Have You Ever Seen Memes in the Mirror?” is touted as “the world’s first institutional Crypto art exhibition.” On display will be works by more than 60 artists, including recent market darling Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple.
*Originally posted at CVJ.CH