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  • Press release
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  • Dubai
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  • For immediate release
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  • 24 February 2022

Block Party

Encountering NFTs in the Middle East
7-29 March at Christie’s Dubai

(left) José Delbo (b.1933) Cézanne 2022, Coloring by Sarah Perryman |
(right) Justin Aversano, (b.1992) Bahareh & Farzaneh Safarani 2021

Dubai – Christie’s is delighted to present BLOCK PARTY, a non-selling NFT exhibition to take place in our premises at DIFC during the month of March (opening on 8 March and ending on 29 March 2022).

‘This exhibition is a defining moment for Christie’s expanding our NFT presence in the Middle East and sets precedence in the region as a global auction house within a country that has become an international hub for innovation and sustainable thinking across all sectors, including the crypto and arts. Block Party comes at a perfect moment for us to match Christie’s market leadership in the NFT sphere alongside a dynamic venue that blends crypto, arts and luxury all together,’ commented Suzy Sikorski, Specialist Middle Eastern Contemporary Art, based in Dubai. 

Noah Davis, Christie’s Head of Digital Art continued: “Daria Borisova has assembled many of the strongest leading voices in the NFT and CryptoArt space as part of her stellar exhibition, Block Party. I could not be more honored to host part of this thoughtful, beautiful show at Christie’s galleries in Dubai. My hope is that Block Party will introduce many in the region to this new and exciting movement in contemporary art.”

Christie’s vision as a leading art and luxury business is grounded in innovation. As a company, we invest deeply in expertise to anticipate, identify and expand opportunities to engage with new audiences and markets. After studying the NFT landscape for the better part of 2020 and adapting rapidly to the demands and opportunities of digital culture, Christie’s went on to identify and launch the auction market for this entirely new collecting category.

Nicole Ruggiero (2021) How long will you love me?

Our NFT sales began with digital art, building off the success of our first NFT by Robert Alice, and, following the monumental success of Beeple, have since expanded into the fields of design and luxury as well. As we move ahead, we are simultaneously exploring many new opportunities in an even broader range of fields and are continuing to evolve our strategy for the market accordingly.

For the Dubai exhibition project, Christie’s partnered once more with Daria Borisova, an independent curator and art advisor. Previously, Daria was responsible for including the first NFT into the 2021 edition of the 1-54 art fair in London, which took place in collaboration with Christie’s. The offered NFT was part of Osinachi’s series Different Shades of Water.

By the same artist, the Dubai show will exhibit another work that reflects on the idea of solitude in one's space whilst at the same time surrounded by nature. Born Prince Jacon Osinachi Igwe, Osinachi grew up in Aba. The 30-year-old who is widely known as Africa’s foremost crypto-artist creates figurative portraits that mirror his personal experiences through a unique visual language. In 2021 he became the first African artist to sell an NFT in a public auction through Christie’s in conjunction with the art fair 1-54.

A total of 9 digital art works by 7 international artists will be on view. Confirmed artists include:

Olive Allen is a New York based artist, who offers through her work a critical yet playful view on hype by blending pop-cultural elements such as Pokemon cards, Furbies and hyperbeast staples with a witty social criticism.

Justin Aversano – A humanist and a social entrepreneur, Justin connects his art with the world around him through capturing moments, faces, and communities that surround him, bringing them together through the lens of his camera. Justin is currently based in Los Angeles.

José Delbo joined the digital art space at the age of 86, after a long and successful career as comic book illustrator - Buck Rogers, The Monkees and the Mod Squad and Wonder Woman, just to name a few. He released the first NFT comic on the blockchain in 2020 and became since, known as Joséhas, one of the most collected artists in the NFT space.

A Rewind Collective NFT was one of the first to be acquired by a major museum. Today, works by the duo can be found in the New Orleans Museum of Art, the National Gallery of South Africa, and Fundación Medianocheo in Spain. On 14 May 2021, Christie’s made history by offering the first traditional painting accompanied by an NFT, created by Rewind selling for $150,000.

Nicole Ruggiero’s work concentrates on technology and the culture surrounding it, producing an overall effect of a dreamlike quality that deconstructs myths and fairytales.

And Sarah Zucker who lately participated at The Gateway, presented by NFTNow and Christie’s during Art Basel Miami 2021. Her art merges the gorgeous with the grotesque through humour, mysticism and the interplay of cutting-edge and obsolete technologies.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.