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  • Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 16 February 2021

RELEASE: Christie's to Offer the First Purely Digital NFT-Based Work of Art Ever Offered by a Major Auction House

Beeple, Everydays – The First 5000 Days, NFT, 21,069 pixels x 21,069 pixels (316,939,910 bytes)

Estimate Unknown. Starting Bid: $100

NEW YORK – Christie’s is honored to present Everydays – The First 5000 Days by leading digital artist, Beeple, in a stand alone online-only sale open for bidding from February 25 - March 11, coinciding with First Open | Online. This sale marks the first time that a purely digital NFT (Non-Fungible Token) based work of art has ever been offered by a major auction house, signifying an important milestone in the development of the market for digital art. Given that this is a new medium for Christie’s, the estimate for The First 5000 Days will be listed as “unknown.” Bidding will open at $100. Visit www.christies.com/beeple for additional information.

Noah Davis, Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked: “Christie’s is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Beeple, a brash pioneer among digital artists, to present the first purely digital NFT-based work of art ever offered by a major auction house. We see this as a pivotal moment for the future of New Media and even the practice of collecting itself. Everydays – The First 5000 Days is a monumental work comprised of 5,000 individual images created over the course of as many days, giving viewers the opportunity to zoom in and witness Beeple’s often irreverent but always engaging, evolution as an artist pixel by pixel. The capacity to represent 13 years of an artist’s career in a single work perfectly illustrates the limitless nature of this medium. Not unlike the advent of Street Art as a blue chip collecting category, NFT-based art is on the threshold of becoming the next ingeniously disruptive force in the art market. Christie’s is proud to be in the vanguard of this exhilarating movement.”

Beepledigital artist, remarked"I am beyond excited to have the first 100% digital artwork auctioned at Christie's.   I think this is a truly historic moment not just for digital art, but for the entire fine art world.   The technology is now at a place with the blockchain to be able to prove ownership and have true scarcity with digital artwork so I think we are going to see an explosion of not only new artwork, but also new collectors and I am very honored to be a part of this movement." 

Everydays – The First 5000 Days is a tour-de-force by Mike Winkelmann, a leading digital artist best known as Beeple. On May 1, 2007, the artist set out to create and post a new work of art every day indefinitely, and has not missed a single day in 13 years. These works, which are now known as Everydays, form one of the most celebrated bodies of work in the history of digital art. The First 5000 Days comprises every single individual image from Beeple’s first 5,000 Everydays compiled into a single composition. Together, this work presents an extensive glimpse into Beeple’s artistic journey from his early days of anonymity to the digital art star that he is today – its unfaltering continuity creating a poignant timeline charting the progression of United States history in real time.

Beeple’s artwork is rich with brazen symbolism in his examination of social contradictions and absurdities. Utilizing his signature grotesque, hypnotizing digital style, the artist tackles themes such as society’s simultaneous obsession with and fear of technology, desire and resentment towards wealth, and of course, the political turbulence of recent years.

The First 5000 Days is a purely digital work of art, which is a Non-Fungible Token. An NFT is a unique digital token encrypted with the artist’s signature, which is individually identified on the blockchain, effectively verifying the rightful owner and authenticity of an original digital creation. The NFT for this work has been generated by MakersPlace, a premier marketplace for digital creators.

Digital Art has a long established history as an artistic medium, but until the recent introduction of NFTs and blockchain technology, it was impossible to assign value to digital works of art given the ease of duplication. However, when an NFT-based digital creation is acquired today, the buyer receives the artwork file containing a digital signature from the artist and all vital details including time of creation, edition size and a record of any prior sales. These details are permanently attached to the artwork, providing an enduring guarantee of value. This development has effectively ushered in a new era for digital artists, and Christie’s is honored to be on the forefront of this long awaited breakthrough.   

The market for digital art is expanding rapidly, with major acquisitions taking place on specialized platforms such as MakersPlace. Beeple is one of the most sought after digital artists within this market, having recently sold a collection of 20 works at auction for $3.5 million on another blockchain-based platform.

Outside the realm of the digital art market, Beeple has made a major name for himself in the creative world, collaborating with global brands including Apple, Space X, Nike, and Samsung and creating concert visuals for artists such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Childish Gambino, Nicki Minaj, Skrillex and deadmau5 among others. In 2019, Beeple’s artwork was featured on Louis Vuitton’s Women's Spring 2019 ready to wear collection, as well as in window displays of the brand’s global flagships.   

About Christie’s

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting Private Sales for clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie’s global presence is spread across a network of international salerooms and 61 representatives and offices. Christies.com provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie’s accessible to all.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.