Crypto-artist Beeple sells his NFT for $69 million. The London auction house Christie’s has held its first digital art auction and the experience has resulted in the sale of $69 million of crypto-artist Beeple’s NFT. The creation, Every Day: The First 5,000 Days, brings together hundreds of creations illuminated over more than a decade by this artist, named Mike Winklemann, on a canvas measuring 21,069 x 21,069 pixels.
Crypto-artist Beeple sells his NFT for $69 million
The sale began last February 25 and culminated today. It started at $100, reached $10 million earlier in the week, and finally sold for $69,346,250. It is the most expensive digital artwork in history, which also places its author among the three most successful living artists.
The buyer will receive a reproduction of the work with “a unique NFT encrypted with the artist’s unforgeable signature and uniquely identified on the blockchain,” Christie explains.
Digital art is a token embedded in the blockchain
Everyday: The First 5,000 Days could be called a retrospective of the artist. It is, literally, the embodiment of all the works of digital art that this man has created daily over the past 13 years. A collage of the varied creations of this American graphic designer.
“In ‘Every Day: The First 5,000 Days,’ the artist has united recurring themes and color schemes into an aesthetic whole. The individual pieces are arranged in an imprecise chronological order: zooming in reveals images by turns abstract, fantastic, grotesque or absurd, deeply personal or representative of current events. Recurring themes include society’s obsession with and fear of technology, desire and resentment of wealth, and recent political turmoil in the United States.”
A few days ago, Jack Dorsey sold the first-ever tweet as an NFT. Not the tweet as such, but “a digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator,” as the platform used by the Twitter founder explained. With digital art it is more of the same: A certificate issued by the author of content made up of ones and zeros that could and can be anywhere reproduced thousands of times.
Digital art is nothing new, its history goes back as far as the 1960s, but “the ease of duplication has made it almost impossible to assign provenance and value to this medium,” says Christie’s. What non-fungible tokens are intended to solve, in principle.
“The recent introduction of non-fungible tokens (NFT) and blockchain technology has enabled collectors and artists alike to verify the rightful owner and authenticity of digital artworks,” says this auction institution. The person who has bought the work, therefore, will receive it “directly from Beeple” accompanied by “a unique NFT encrypted with the unforgeable signature of the artist and uniquely identified on the blockchain”. MakersPlace, a digital marketplace, has issued the NFT of the piece.