Today auction house Christie’s announced that it will auctioning off its first-ever purely digital art, a unique 1/1 artwork by Beeple titled EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS. The artwork is minted as a non-fungible token (NFT) on Ethereum and will be on auction at Christie’s starting February 25, 2021. See auction details.
This represents the first time a purely-digital art has been picked up for auction by one of the traditional art auction houses, and is an exciting development in the digital art space for several reasons.
First, Christie’s has a broad mailing list and network, making it possible to reach and educate more traditional collectors about the value proposition of digital art. It will be super interesting to watch the auction and see who is participating.
Second, the auction house is a household name and strong influence in the art world, and by auctioning an NFT-backed digital artwork, they are sending a strong signal that digital art is an upcoming trend worth watching.
Third, the choice of featuring the work of Beeple–a prolific, internet-native artist–as the first digital artwork to auction indicates that at least some people in the traditional art space believe that a new generation of digital artists are on the rise, rather than choosing to issue an NFT as, say, a digital certificate of authenticity for a more traditional fine artist.
Exciting times ahead!