British auction house Christie’s has announced the auction of its first ever “purely digital work of art." Announcing the news Tuesday, Christie’s said that the nonfungible token artwork will be issued in partnership with major NFT marketplace MakersPlace. Dubbed “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” the piece was created by Mike Winkelmann, who goes by the name "Beeple."
According to the official page of the NFT auction, the starting price for the work, which interested parties can bid on from Feb. 25 until March 11, is just $100.
“Minted exclusively for Christie’s in February 2021, this monumental digital collage marks the first time Beeple’s work will be sold at a major auction house,” it said in the announcement. “It’s also the first-ever purely digital artwork (NFT) to be offered at a traditional auction house, with its authenticity assured thanks to blockchain technology,” Christie’s added.
Noah Davis, a postwar and contemporary expert based in New York, emphasized that Christie’s move into the NFT industry is crucial for digital art:
"Christie’s has never offered a new media artwork of this scale or importance before. [...] Acquiring Beeple’s work is a unique opportunity to own an entry in the blockchain itself created by one of the world’s leading digital artists.”
As previously reported, Christie’s NFT partner, MakersPlace, is a global NFT marketplace, similar to SuperRare, KnownOrigin and Winklevoss brothers-owned Nifty.
This new auction is not the company's first foray into blockchain-based art. In October 2020, a similar Christie’s auction sold a Bitcoin (BTC)-themed art piece and NFT based on blockchain technology for $131,250.