Never Mind the Crypto Crash, Christie’s Kicks Off Sale of More than 15 NFTs, Timed for Miami Art Week
The crypto market is not enjoying 2022. Bitcoin prices have fallen 65 percent, NFT trading volume is down 97 percent, and FTX’s implosion showed that the sector is as financially dubious as it is morally bankrupt.
Hardly an ideal time, one might think, for Christie’s to really get the wheels turning on its specialist NFT operation. However, the auction house remains positive and announced its “Next Wave: The Miami Edit” sale with the piquant optimism of spring 2021. And why not? It has NFT pedigree. It has brought together some of crypto art’s biggest names. It has an auction platform on the chain, Christie’s 3.0.
“Despite the cryptocurrency news cycle, there is still strong interest in digital art,” Nicole Sales Giles, digital art director at Christie’s, told Artnet News. “Collectors want to own the best works of art, and Christie’s 3.0 is the place.”
The auction, which will run from November 30 to December 7, is timed to coincide with Miami Art Week, an event that last year became an IRL bonanza for crypto-celebration. The top lot is Mother herd a generative project created by Random International and Danil Krivoruchko, which allows the viewer to manipulate a flock of thousands of bird-like figures. Other lots include a shot by Dave Krugman, the American photographer with a penchant for cars; Untitled by nature-focused painter and programmer Zancan; and fittingly enough The city of Miamia calm colorful work by Cory Van Lew.
“We curated a tight-knit group of digital artists who produce high-quality work and help advance the digital art space,” Sales Giles said. “They are the next generation of digital artists.”
The auction follows the successful debut of Christie’s 3.0 with the sale of work by teenage NFT star Diana Sinclair. All the works were sold at 145 percent above the low estimate. It also saw 300 clients link their crypto wallets to Christie’s 3.0.
Christie’s was an early mainstream supporter of the NFT and crypto art movement. Last year, the auction house hosted Beeple’s $69 million sale Weekdays: The first 5,000 days and followed up with major sales of Cryptopunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Starting prices for “Next Wave: The Miami Edit” range from 4 to 80 ETH, but exactly how much it will be worth in fiat currency when the auction goes live is anyone’s guess.
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