Beeple Sells Most Expensive NFT Ever
The dawn of a new era in digital art is finally here. On February 16 this year, an artwork by Beeple was minted. And then nine days later, it was auctioned off for over $69 million making it the most expensive NFT ever sold. Starting at a price of $100, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” was sold on February 25 at Christie’s. Not only is the piece the most expensive NFT ever sold, but also the first digital art piece to be featured in the 250-year old auction house. “Everydays” is an impressive collection of 5,000 unique digital artworks produced every day for a span of around 14 years with themes revolving around technology, politics, and memes. Since this artwork is certainly worth discussing, its creator is aptly remarkable as well.
Mike Winkelmann is a digital artist from South Carolina who does work in many forms such as VJ loops, VR/AR work, and short films. Under the moniker of Beeple, he has worked on visuals for musicians in the likes of deadmau5, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, and many more. As one of the pioneers of the ‘everyday’ movement in 3D graphic artwork, Beeple has been creating and posting artwork on his Instagram for over seven years without missing a single day.
Since 2007, Beeple has been creating art everyday. However, only until recently that he started to make a mark in the world of cryptocurrency. In October 2020, Winkelmann began to sell his art as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Nifty Gateway. His first drop consisted of three artworks. Two of them – “CRYPTO IS BULLSHIT” and “CROSSROAD” – sold at a bid of $66,666.66 each. The other was sold as an edition of 100 pieces which cost $1 each. Titled “POLITICS IS BULLSHIT”, some of the pieces from the $1 edition are now being resold for up to $50,000.
While Beeple’s first drop was certainly an impressive feat, his second drop can be considered the event he actually made waves in the sea of cryptocurrency. According to Loop from Medium, the success of Winkelmann’s December collection indicates the inescapable evolution of Crypto Art to a mainstream market from a niche one. The artist from South Carolina sold his ‘Complete MF Collection’, which included signed accessories and even a personal hair sample, as a single NFT for a winning bid of $777,777. Moreover, Loop says that the overall statistics for Beeple’s December drop reached up to $3.5M in primary sales.
What Beeple has done is revolutionary for the art and cryptocurrency community, and even more so for the crypto art community. Because of the popularity and sales the artist has gained, all these communities he’s a part of have gained mainstream coverage and recognition that allowed them to evolve or change significantly. After becoming the third most-valuable living artist, Beeple has certainly shown the great potential that cryptocurrency has. This is just the beginning for him and the crypto art community.