After more than 180 bids, a JPG file made by Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist known as Beeple, was sold on Thursday in an online auction for a whopping $69.3 million. The price sets a new high for an artwork that exists only digitally and has beaten auction records for famous physical paintings.
Rebecca Riegelhaupt, a Christie’s spokeswoman, said 33 active bidders contested the work, adding that the final price was the third-highest auction price achieved for a living artist.
“Every day’s — The First 5000 Days” is a collage of all the images that Beeple has posted online each day since 2007. The artist, who has collaborated with Louis Vuitton and pop stars like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, uses software to create visual representations of life in 21st-century life.
The JPG collage was turned into a “nonfungible token,” or NFT backed by a secure network of computer systems that records the sale on a digital ledger, known as a blockchain, which gives buyers proof of authenticity and ownership. Payments are made with cryptocurrencies such as Etherum or Bitcoin.
Most NFT collectors are Silicon Valley tech-associated individuals, while others comprise a growing crop of crypto millionaires.
Source: The New York Times