The start of a new era in art. This is what can be said of one of the latest artworks to be listed at Christie’s auction house. In collaboration with renowned artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, a unique 1 of 1 digital artwork was listed on Christie’s website on February 25th. As the first of it’s kind, the digital artwork represents a shift in the art and collectables space, proving there is not only demand, but value in the intangible.
Titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” this digital artwork by Beeple is a montage of 5000 original pieces of art created by Winklemann over the years, presented as a single work. Above is a zoomed in excerpt from the piece, where you can see the various individual works pieced together to become one. In just the first day of the auction, bidding reached $1 Million USD for the work, and currently sits at $3.5 Million as of today. While this may seem astronomical for digital art, the price point is actually fair compared to Beeple’s recent $6 Million resale of his politically inspired piece “Crossroads”.
In October 2020 as tensions were high leading up to the 2020 United States presidential election, Beeple released his first drop on the Nifty Gateway platform, including the work “Crossroads” – which was a dynamic token that would forever change based upon the outcome of the presidential election, reflecting either a Biden or Trump win. Originally listed and sold for $66,666, the work has just resold in the marketplace for a record-breaking $6,600,000.
It may seem unconventional, and that’s because it is. While graphic designers and digital work have been increasingly popular over the years, it was never a substantial market in itself. A big thanks to emerging marketplaces focused exclusively on sales and resale of digital tokens, also known as NFT’s, an entire community and new realm of collectables was born. If you’re out of the loop in terms of NFT’s, we’ve broken down some information to help you get acquainted.
What is an NFT?
You may have heard of NFT’s recently, but if you haven’t, we’re pretty sure you will very soon. NFT’s (short for Non Fungible Tokens) are essentially digital assets that are validated by a blockchain, similar to the blockchain behind popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. What’s unique to NFT’s is that they cannot be replicated or exchanged (unlike Bitcoin) making each NFT unique and a collectable of their own. It is true that anyone on the internet can view these artworks backed by NFT’s, but each NFT can only have one owner, which buyers are banking on.
About The Artist
Artist Beeple whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, has been a pioneer of digital artwork. Starting back in 2007, Beeple began creating graphic designs and posting a new piece of art every day online, what he called “Everydays”. His website considers him a creator of “digital artwork including short films, Creative Commons VJ loops, everydays and VR / AR work. After he began releasing a set of widely used Creative Commons VJ loops he has worked on concert visuals for Justin Bieber, One Direction, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Zedd, deadmau5 and many more. ” Over the years his impressive work has amassed him over 1.8 Million followers on Instagram @beeple_crap and while he has his own website beeple-crap.com, he ironically has very little foothold in the real art world aside from the undeniable creativity and of his digital artwork.
The Future of Art
With art becoming available as NFT’s – this completely changes the game. For one, this allows an entirely new category of art to be of high value. No longer is art collecting only for physical pieces (that can be damaged or misplaced) – now Art can be owned digitally. And if you want to show off that art? Just get a digital picture frame to display the art in your chosen space, with no risk of damage or theft because it is a digital asset. This is not to say there isn’t a load of skepticism surrounding NFT’s, since they do not exist in tangible form, and much of the value is perceived. The value of an individual NFT can be largely attributed to the authenticity and promise of the creator themselves. While technically anyone can create or view a work backed by an NFT, if you have a large following or history of great performance in your work, your chances of selling valuable works with NFT’s with high demand or strong resale value increase. Aside from digital artwork, NFT’s have taken on the world of sports via NBA’s Topshot platform, offering collectible tokens based on basketball players iconic game plays and more. Given the evolving nature of society becoming increasingly digital, people are seeing the value in owning an asset associated with talented or trending individuals. Whether investing in NFT’s to make a quick flip, or as long-term investments, it has already proved to be a booming industry in itself.
We would love to hear your thoughts on digital art and NFT’s – leave a comment below or check out our Art page @luxurylifestyleart to join in on the conversation.