As the auction of Beeple’s “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS,” is set to begin today at the world’s oldest fine art auctioneer, Christies. The art world is primed for the first purely digital artwork to be sold at a major auction house.
Beeple’s NFT represents a major potential investment, according to Noah Davis, specialist in Post-War and contemporary art who is leading the sale at Christie’s. Davis anticipates the sale being akin to a “mosh pit” and commented on its unique nature in an interview:
“That is the residue that enchants an artwork, this idea that you’re establishing its identity and scarcity, its rarity, and that is what’s so great about blockchain. You can do that in a way that is very obvious, even if it is a little bit beguiling and tricky because we’re so used to thinking about art in this very literal, real, lived way.”
The artwork, made up of 5,000 unique digital pieces, created every day between 2007 and 2021, will be auctioned over a period of 14 days. The price tag – “estimate unknown”.
The digital artist Mike Winkelmann, who goes under the name Beeple, has thus far sold his art work on blockchain art platform – Nifty Gateway. Recently selling an NFT in a resale for a whopping $6.6 million on the secondary market. The most expensive NFT sale in history.
NFT’s are not new to the digital world, with ‘non-fungible tokens’ popularised by the blockchain-based game CryptoKitties in 2017. These distinct, easily verifiable digital assets, have exploded in popularity in the past year, and can take many forms – from a video of Lebron James dunking, to music videos, and of course, digital artwork.
The Christie’s lead on Beeple’s artwork, Davis, commented on the place he believes NFT’s will take in the art world:
“I don’t believe we are at the point now where NFTs are going to overtake paintings, sculpture, and drawings, as investment classes and things that people love to experience and engage with, because that’s never happened in the history of art. I don’t think we’ll ever lose that physicality, even if we wind up in a world that is more or less lived completely virtually. There’ll still be a place for fine art as we understand it right now.”
The significance of the Christie’s auction is enormous for the NFT world. The bridging of two worlds, that will bring digital blockchain art into the mainstream.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.