Auction house Sotheby’s is working with digital artist Murat Pak to auction a new, yet unannounced piece of NFT art. Charles Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s, said in an interview with CNBC’s News Alert that working with an anonymous crypto artist like Pak is ‘disruptive compared to the traditional art world’. Even though Pak is the first artist to sell through Sotheby’s, Stewart believes that the NFT space has ‘staying power’.
Murat Pak, or simply Pak, is an anonymous digital art with decades of experience in the design world. However, they don’t want to reveal their identity because they want their work to be about the art. This suggests that Pak also as a prominent job ‘in the real world’. At the same time Murat Pak has become a household name in the NFT art space, and people value their work greatly. Pak is also the person behind the Archillect, an AI the scrapes the internet and posts likeable pictures on Twitter and Instagram.
The collaboration between Sotheby’s and Pak for an NFT artwork doesn’t come out of thin air. In January the artist sold some NFT art through Nifty Gateway, and in the end they gave one artwork to Sotheby’s. Simply because they were bold enough to ask. This drop, called The Title, also featured The Unsold. It didn’t sell because of its hefty price tag. However, to some extend one might argue this was performance art.
In February he sold an artwork on SuperRare for $175.801, which was a record for the art platform. However, record have been broken all over the place in recent week. In the world of crypto art Beeple has seen his work auctioned for $69.3 million, while at the same time projects like CryptoPunks, Sorare, NBA Top Shot and many others are seeing millions of dollars being pumped into NFTs.
Digital art on the rise
Currently we’re seeing lots of adoption in the NFT space. The story of these NFTs is mainly told through art sales and digital collectibles. In recent months we’ve seen Deadmau5, 3LAU, Carl Cox and Kings of Leon drop their own NFTs. In addition celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Soulja Boy and Grimes have created and sold digital collectibles or true art.
Last week auction house Christie’s auctioned an NFT made by Beeple. The NFT instantly reached legendary status by selling for more than $69 million. This is now – by far – the most expensive NFT on the market.
What is NFT art?
NFT is the abbreviation for non-fungible tokens, which are tokens that signify ownership over unique digital assets. These assets can for example be items in a game, crypto art, or digital collectibles. In addition it could also be a ticket for a cinema or perhaps a subscription for public transit. The usability of NFTs doesn’t end with art, it only starts there. Just like physical art, there can be unlimited copies. But ultimately there can only be one Mona Lisa.
Mostly we value art for its aesthetics and cultural relevance, but above all on the ability to verify the creator and its proven rarity. With blockchain technology these last two features are part of the blockchain. Everybody can see and confirm who minted these original creations.
The concept of seeing a digital image as art, is one thing. However, for many people it will be a challenge to consider digital images as valuable. Consider this: The Mona Lisa is worth many millions of dollars. If I would paint the Mona Lisa in an exact copy, it would be worth only 50 dollars. Because we all know where the original version is.
Being able to verify the authenticity and rarity of a piece of art is crucial. In the end everything can be art. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a still image, moving image, video, music or a combination of everything.
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Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he’s a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He’s a content manager and creator at heart, started the Play to Earn Online Magazine in early 2020.