A piece of digital art was sold for a record-breaking $69.3 million at Christie’s
A piece of digital art was sold for over $69 million at Christie’s yesterday morning. The event is the first time the famed British auction house managed to sell a nonfungible token (NFT) art, and the Beeple NFT is the most expensive digital art ever sold.
The art piece, titled “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days”, is the work of Beeple, a 41-year-old illustrator from Wisconsin. It is a collage of 5,000 images the artist made over as many days.
Nonfungible tokens issue blockchain-backed “proof of ownership” on items such as art, ensuring that artists can claim ownership of their digital works and collect compensation for them. NFT arts are increasingly becoming popular in the cryptocurrency space and are slowly gaining mainstream adoption.
The eight-figure sale of the Beeple NFT is now the most expensive asset ever since blockchain technology began hosting digital arts and media. This latest development will draw more attention to NFTs, helping them gain more mainstream adoption over the next few months.
Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile, a Miami art collector, told Forbes that the sale of the Beeple NFT is an extraordinary moment. “I believe it serves as clear validation that digital art is as important as what we know as traditional art, with Beeple its clear leader and symbol”, he added.
In addition to being the first digital art to be sold at Christie’s, the Beeple NFT is now the third most expensive art piece sold at an auction by a living artist. Beeple NFT is only behind the $90.3 million David Hockney painting sold in 2018, and the stainless-steel Rabbit sculpture sold for $91.1 million in 2019.
Yesterday’s event was the first time the centuries-old auction house sold a digital NFT, and it was also the first time Christie’s accepted Ethereum as payment for artwork. The auction house said it plans to hold more digital art sales in the future.
Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, created the “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” digital art by posting an image online every day since 2007. The work sold yesterday is a collection of these software-drawn pictures, most of which show the cheeky indictments of our modern, tech-obsessed lives.