The auction house Sotheby’s announced Thursday the creation of a digital space reserved for NFT collectors and a now biannual sale of these digital objects, a sign of its desire to settle permanently in this sector.
Image, video, tweet, computer program, NFTs (non-fungible tokens), certificates of authenticity associated with a virtual object that they make unique, have boosted contemporary art in 2020-2021, against the backdrop of a pandemic. They now represent 2% of the global art market, according to the annual report of the company Artprice, published in early October.
Almost unknown a year ago, they broke records at auctions, at Christie’s, where a fully digital work by American artist Beeple was auctioned for $ 69.3 million in March, or at Sotheby’s , where the web-based program sold for $ 5.4 million in early July.
In this context, Sotheby’s announced on Wednesday the launch of “a dedicated platform for digital art collectors”, called “Sotheby’s Metaverse”. Buyers will be able to create a personal profile, with “an avatar designed by the famous crypto designer Pak”, and payments can be made in fiat currency or in certain crypto-currencies (Etherum, bitcoin, USDC), explains Sotheby’s in a press release. .
The platform featured on Wednesday the profiles of collectors known in the industry, including that of the American star Paris Hilton and DJ Steve Aoki.
The first sale, called “Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors”, will take place between October 18 and 26, with 53 lots. The auction house took the opportunity to announce that the event would now be held twice a year. Among the works are creations by Pak, Rare Pepe, or Larva Labs.
They will be presented from Saturday in London, where Sotheby’s on Wednesday broke the record for a work by British artist Banksy, “La fille au ballon” (18.6 million pounds). A very real painting, but which had partially self-destructed during its last sale, three years ago, an action claimed by the artist to denounce the “commodification” of art.