Yesterday, March 11, a digital non-fungible tokens (NFT) art collage made by a digital artist sold for a whopping $69.3 million at a Christie's auction.
The sale places Mike Winkelmann, the artist known as Beeple, among the world's top three most "valuable living artists," said the auction house in an interview with The Verge.
The work, called "Everydays: The First 5000 Days" is a collage of over 13 years of digital art that Beeple made every day. This marked the first time Christie's auctioned NFT digital art.
.@beeple 's 'The First 5000 Days', the 1st purely digital NFT based artwork offered by a major auction house has sold for $69,346,250, positioning him among the top three most valuable living artists. Major Thanks to @beeple + @makersplaceco. More details to be released shortly— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) March 11, 2021
This is a historic moment in the art world, which may change how it operates following the sale of NFTs.
NFTs have been gathering speed and popularity in recent weeks. These are unique files that verify an artist's ownership of digital artwork, and that live on a blockchain. Those who buy the NFTs have some rights to display the digital artwork.
So why was Beeple's art so precious?
For starters, he has a decently-sized fan base of around 2.5 million followers across various chanels, as The Verge uncovered. And for this $69.3 million digital artwork, it's a one-of-a-kind collage given he created and posted a new piece of digital art every single day for nearly 14 years.
Not to mention the fact Christie's auction house stepped in for the sale. Christie's has been in operation for 255 years, so it's easy to see why it's such a trusted platform, espcially given the incredible and famous artwork it's previously auctioned, from Leonardo da Vinci to the only known portrait of William Shakespeare.
Combine that with the fact that this was Christie's first ever NFT digital art auction, and that NFTs are gathering a fair amount of attention as the way to sell, buy, and resell digital artwork, it's easy to see how this particular sale was so tremendous.
Time will tell how well NFTs continue to do, and what other pieces of art we can expect t see sold for millions of dollars.