In 2023, Sotheby’s, the renowned fine arts auction house, made a remarkable impact in the digital art sector with sales close to $35 million. According to Michael Bouhanna, the company’s vice president and head of digital art, the year was one of the most exciting for digital art.
First Live Digital Art Auction
One of the year’s highlights was Sotheby’s first live digital art auction, which drew 300 attendees and generated $12 million in sales. Among the notable sales was “Ringers #879” by digital artist Dmitri Cherniak, known as “The Goose” in the generative art community. This piece, sold for a record $6.2 million, showcases a unique blend of randomness and skill from creating art with randomized computer code, resulting in an image reminiscent of a waterfowl at the moment of its minting as an NFT.
Sotheby’s Commitment to Digital Art
Another notable achievement in the digital art space was the “Themes and Variations” collection, featuring 500 generative art NFTs. This collection, created by 99-year-old digital art pioneer Molnár and aided by Martin Grasser, achieved total sales of 631 Eth, equivalent to $1.2 million.
Sotheby’s conducted over 25 auctions dedicated to digital art, exclusively or as part of contemporary art sales. Also this year, Sotheby’s Metaverse, the auction house’s NFT marketplace, received an upgrade. The marketplace expanded to include not only primary market offerings but also secondary sales, allowing collectors to sell directly to each other.
Sotheby’s Influence on the Digital Art Market
With a rich history spanning 279 years, the company has emerged as a major player in the digital art market. Achieving record-breaking sales and a commitment to embracing the digital art revolution has positioned them as a leader in the industry.
In conclusion, Sotheby’s has established itself as a prominent figure in the digital art market. Through innovative auctions, the launch of Sotheby’s Metaverse, and successful collections like “Themes and Variations,” the company continues to drive the evolution of digital art.
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