We reported last week that digital artist Beeple was auctioning off his entire collection over the past decade or so and doing so via something called NFT, a blockchain technology used for authenticating ownership of digital assets.
Expected to fetch millions, the auction was more novel than anything else for its monetization of NFT. Heck, a few days later we reported on how the holographic picture frame company was even getting in on the NFT craze.
And now we have some idea why. Beeple’s collection didn’t just fetch millions, but tens of millions, blowing away most reasonable estimates of what such a novel trove of digital art could get at auction.
In fact, CNN reports that Beeple’s collection “Everydays” nearly fetched as much as two other living artists who are much more well known in the mainstream art world.
Mike Winkelmann, Beeple’s real name, and his $USD 69 million haul come in right under David Hockney and Jeff Koons who sold “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” for $90.3 million in 2018 and a stainless steel sculpture known as “Rabbit” for $USD 91.1 million in 2019 respectively.
Of the auction, Winkelmann said, “It's a bit surreal, because (digital imagery) wasn't really something that I pictured, in my lifetime, being able to sell. So it (has) come out of nowhere. But at the same time, I also really feel like this is going to be the next chapter of art history.”
A specialist in post-war and contemporary art at Christie's, Noah Davis, told CNN:
“The last year has been an extraordinary period for the art market, and today's result is a fitting tribute to the significant digital transformation that has taken place at Christie's. And just as our business has evolved, so has the way in which art is being made…I'm honored to welcome all the of the remarkable new clients, who not only bid with us, but reached out to share their brilliant ideas on how to further the crypto art movement. Beeple's success is a testament to the exciting possibilities ahead for this nascent marketplace. Today's result is a clarion call to all digital artists. Your work has value. Keep making it.
What do you think of the new NFT craze? Let us know your thoughts on NFT and how it could possibly impact photography in the comments below.
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