The auction house has sold a number of virtual artworks this year that have taken strong heights.
A non-fungible token of a digital art called “CryptoPunk” sold for $ 11.8 million Thursday, Sotheby’s auction house said.
CryptoPunks are a 10,000-pixel art character set made by Larva Labs in 2017. The one sold by Sotheby’s – “CryptoPunk # 7523” – is of a sought-after alien variety with blue-green skin and a medical mask.
The work is in the form of NFT – that is, it is authenticated by blockchain, which certifies its originality and ownership. The NFT is sent to the buyer’s cryptocurrency portfolio; no work of physical art changes hands.
“CryptoPunk # 7523” was sold for $ 11,754,000 as part of Sotheby’s online auction “Native Digital: A Curated NFT Sale,” which grossed a total of $ 17.1 million in 27 works. digital artists.
It was bought by Israeli entrepreneur Shalom Meckenzie, who is the largest shareholder of digital sports company DraftKings, Sotheby’s said.
Moments ago in our #London saleroom, an extremely rare “Alien” CryptoPunk #7523 from the collection of @sillytuna sold for $11.8M as part of our #NativelyDigital NFT auction – setting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk. pic.twitter.com/PDVUSttI3o
— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 10, 2021
Michael Bouhanna, a contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s, said the sale showed strong demand for NFT.
“We are pleased to continue to discover new and interesting ways in presenting these cutting-edge works.”
Anyone can see the art that the NFTs represent, but only the buyer has the official status of being the owner.
Sotheby’s in the metaverse
Although the sale was an online auction, the works were displayed on screens at Sotheby’s exhibitions in New York, London and Hong Kong.
Sotheby’s has also opened its first virtual gallery: a replica of its real world on New Bond Street in London, in the online virtual world Decentraland.
Decentraland is a blockchain-based virtual world, in which users can walk around with friends, visit buildings, go to events and view their NFT art collections.
“To those who say,‘ Yeah, but you can’t hang them on your wall, ’that’s where virtual social worlds like Decentraland come in,” said Dave Carr, spokesman for the Decentraland Foundation.
“Virtual worlds are the natural home of NFT digital art.”
NFTs exploded in popularity in February and March. An NFT work has raised $ 69.3 million at Christie’s, in the first sale by a large artless art auction house.
Sotheby’s first NFT auction was held in April, with digital works by the artist known as “Pak” taking in $ 16.8 million.
Quantum, by Kevin McCoy, a simple geometric animation also unveiled at Thursday’s auction, sold for $ 1.47 million. Sotheby’s said it was the first NFT ever made, which was “printed” in 2014. A Pak work was also sold for $ 528,200.