The world’s first purely digital NFT artwork has sold for more than US$69 million, positioning its artist among the world’s three most valuable living artists, according to auction house Christie’s.
The work, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, was created by American artist and graphic designer Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, and sold for US$69.34 million, the equivalent of $89.02 million.
The First 5000 Days is a purely digital Non-Fungible Token (NFT) artwork. NFT refers to the artwork as being authenticated by blockchain, meaning its originality and ownership is certified.
According to Christie’s, the piece is considered the first of its kind to be offered and sold by a major auction house.
.@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
Christie’s also revealed that as many as 22 million people tuned into the final moments of Beeple’s historic sale.
“On 1 May 2007, Mike Winkelmann, aka the digital artist Beeple, posted a new work of art online,” Christie’s writes of the piece.
“He did the same thing the next day and the next, and the next one after that, creating and posting a brand-new digital picture, or ‘everyday’ as he called it, every single day for 13-and-a-half years.
“Now those individual pieces have been brought together in Everydays: The First 5000 Days, a unique work in the history of digital art.”
If you’re a consumer of internet culture, chances are you’ve come across Beeple’s work before.
The South Carolina-based artist has a huge following online, with his Instagram alone welcoming 1.9 million followers.
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The news comes after a 10-second video clip by Beeple, featuring an image of a fallen Donald Trump, sold for $US6.6 million ($8.5 million) on an NFT marketplace called Nifty Gateway.
“Without the NFTs, there just legitimately was no way to collect digital art,” Beeple told Reuters.
When asked what he thought of the multi-million-dollar bids on his work, the 39-year-old graphic designer said he was lost for words.
“I don’t know … maybe you can put an emoji into the story. It’s so crazy,” he said.
Featured image source: Christies.com/Beeple
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