A digital artwork by the artist Beeple was sold at a whopping $6.5 million at Nifty Gateway, making it the most expensive sale of its kind ever. The work by Beeple (original name Mike Winkelmann) was put for auction at Christie’s just a few days earlier.
The work, titled CROSSROADS, was created by Beeple considering the 2020 US Presidential elections. Originally, two versions were created. The first version would have featured a victorious Donald Trump if he had won the elections. However, the existing version, after Trump’s defeat, features a dummy figure resembling Trump lying naked on the sidewalk. On its body, one can view various terms and phrases like ‘loser’, ‘MAGA’ and ‘drink bleach’. The work is supposed to refer to the various things Trump has said in his tweets over the years.
The artwork is NFT (or non-fungible token) – which means that it is authenticated using blockchain technology. Furthermore, the work comes with an encrypted audio/video file and a non-duplicable digital signature. These steps ensure that the original copy cannot be copied or counterfeited in any possible way. In the world of digital art, Beeple is a well-recognized name. Just in December last year, his sales over the weekend accounted for $3.5 million. This, despite the fact that the artist rarely offers his works for auction.
The buyer interest in NFT has reached new heights over last year. The NFT Report 2020 said that the year saw a total of $250 million worth of NFT being sold. Most works at the Nifty Gateways auction were bought within few minutes of the auction (and then re-sold sometime later at inflated prices). The market is now eyeing the Everydays: The First 5000 Days digital artwork which is set to go for auction at Christie’s in a few days.