On March 11, 2021, Christie’s sold Beeple’s First 5000 Days, the first purely digital NFT-based artwork ever offered by an auction house. The monumental work achieved $69.3 million, becoming the most expensive NFT ever sold ever and making Beeple among the top three most valuable living artists.
Singapore – March 12, 2021 –Metakovan, the pseudonymous owner and financer of Metapurse, the largest NFT (unique digital assets) fund in the world, successfully bid and acquired EVERYDAY: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, for $69,346,250 (42329.453 ETH). This breaks the record for the most expensive NFT ever sold. Metakovan acquired the artwork during a single lot auction hosted by the 255-year-old auction house Christie’s, which opened for bidding on February 25th and concluded on March 11th at 10 am EST.
The final auction price of a staggering $69+ million USD was not the only record broken in relation to the sale. The artwork was minted exclusively for Christie’s, making Christie’s the first major auction house to offer a purely digital work with a very unique NFT and to accept cryptocurrency, in this case, Ethereum (Ether). Around 22 million viewers tuned in to Christies.com for the final moments of bidding.
Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie’s said, “We are pleased to have brought together two distinct collecting communities – the traditional and the digital – at exactly the right moment for digital artists, for blockchain technology, and for cryptocurrency. The possibilities for what comes next in this field are inspiring and we look forward to more collaborative innovations in the near future.”
The artwork depicts a digital collage of 5,000 unique artworks created by digital artist Mike Winkelman, now famously known as Beeple, showcasing the cumulation of his work creating and posting an artwork every day consecutively for over 13-and-a-half years.
Metakovan further explains the historical importance of this acquisition: “When you think of high-valued NFTs, this one is going to be pretty hard to beat. And here’s why – it represents 13 years of everyday work. Techniques are replicable and skill is surpassable, but the only thing you can’t hack digitally is time. This is the crown jewel, the most valuable piece of art for this generation. It is worth $1 billion.”
This piece now ranks third amongst the most valuable artworks ever sold by a living artist, after works by Jeff Koons and David Hockney.
Twobadour, Steward of Metapurse, said that this event marks a shift in how the world perceives wealth, accomplishment, and high art. “A renowned auction house, a contemporary artist; a wholly digital masterpiece that lives on a shared financial platform on the internet, acquired by a person of color. This certainly is history. We also hope it is the future.”