Christie's sells digital painting by artist Beeple as NFT token for $70 million

On March 11, the auction house Christie’s concluded the sale of the digital painting “Everyday’s: The First 5000 Days” by artist Beeple. The piece of art in the form of an NFT token was sold for a record $69.35 million.

The digital painting “Everyday’s: The First 5000 Days” by artist Mike Winkelmann (Beeple) in the form of a non-fungible NFT token was sold for $69.35 million in an auction held by auction house Christie’s. The painting, described by the auction house as a unique piece in the history of digital art, is a collage of all the images that Beeple published every day since 2007.

The auction lasted for two weeks. Until the last day, the work was estimated at $30 million, but at the last moment, the auction house received a cascade of bids, which led to an extension of the auction by two minutes. 33 bidders competed for ownership of the painting, Christie’s spokeswoman said.

The final price of the work became the third highest in the history of the auction house among other objects of art sold during the lifetime of their authors. The Beeple is second only to those of Jeff Koons and David Hockney.

The Beeple collage was minted as an NFT token in February 2021.

The Beeple painting was also the first lot in Christie’s 255-year history to be sold for cryptocurrency. Payments were accepted in Ethereum. The auction house announced the start of accepting payments in ETH in February 2021.

Todd Levin, an art advisor based in New York, told the New York Times that he has “mixed emotions” about the Beeple auction.

“On the one hand, it’s super exciting to witness a historical inflection point,” Levin said. “On the other hand, the amount of money involved could skew and damage a nascent emerging market.”

Beeple previously collaborated with fashion house Louis Vuitton and pop stars like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. The objects of art he creates are images of people’s lives in the 21st century.


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