Mike Winklemann, a 3D visual artist who is also known as Beeple on social media, set a historic record by selling the most expensive digital collage in the world titled ‘Everydays: The First 5,000 Days’ at US$69 million last March 11.
According to Christie’s auction house, the artwork was sold to Metakovan, a non-fungible tokens (NFT) investor. The pseudonymous crypto whale also founded Metapurse, a fund specializing in NFT-backed digital artworks.
Christie’s, the 255-year-old auction house based in the UK, sold its first digital artwork attached to a non-fungible token (NFT).
The artwork features five thousand different digital pieces stitched together into a single digital collage. Winklemann started the project in May 2007, creating one digital artwork a day that he uploads online for the last 13 years.
Christie’s decided to team up with Winklemann in December 2020 and created a digital collage of the five thousand artworks with a dimension of 21,069×21,069 pixels that utilize NFT blockchain technology.
According to Metakovan’s statement released by Christie’s, Winklemann’s artwork is worth more than what it was valued at the auction. The crypto whale said that Winklemann’s digital collage is a valuable piece of art that should have been worth US$1 billion.
‘When you think of high-valued NFTs, this one is going to be pretty hard to beat. And here’s why — it represents 13 years of everyday work. Techniques are replicable and skill is surpassable, but the only thing you can’t hack digitally is time,’ Metakovan said.
Winklemann said that for the last 20 years, there’s no real way for people to truly own and collect digital artwork.
‘With NFTs that has now changed. I believe we are witnessing the beginning of the next chapter in art history, digital art,’ he remarked.
Digital art under NFT’s wing
‘Everydays: The First 5,000 Days’ isn’t the first NFT artwork Winklemann sold. In 2020, his digital art titled ‘Crossroads’ also minted to an NFT initially sold at US$66,000.
This artwork was then resold on a secondary NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway at US$6.6 million in February 2021. Winklemann reportedly received a 10% cut from the secondary sale.
Other galleries such as uperRare, MakersPlace, Foundation, KnownOrigin, and Async Art are also joining the NFT wave. These galleries make use of ETH as a means of exchange for NFT-backed digital artworks.
NFTs are electronic identifiers that record details of artworks on a blockchain similar to how cryptocurrencies work. It acts as an artwork’s digital certificate of ownership and authenticity.
The digital token offers a solution to the central problem of owning digital collectables. This allows people to claim ownership of a digital artwork that can be easily duplicated and prove that the piece is one of a kind.
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