HUMAN ONE, a new work by Mike Winkelmann, professionally known as Beeple, fetched USD 28.9m at major auction house Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale, becoming the follow-up to the artist’s record-breaking digital artwork sold back in March.
The new piece, which is accompanied by a non-fungible token (NFT), is the first physical work from Beeple, one of the most famous digital artists who is commemorated for his role in the NFT craze earlier this year, when his “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” digital art piece sold for a whopping USD 69.3m.
“The new sculpture is a generative work of art, a dynamically changing hybrid physical and digital piece, which the artist intends to seamlessly add and evolve creatively over the course of his lifetime,” according to a blog post by the British auction house.
The sculpture, estimated to be more than seven-foot-high (or more than 2 meters), is made of LED screens and features dystopian imagery that is accessed through the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Beeple said he intends to periodically update the imagery using blockchain, creating “an ongoing conversation” between artist and owner.
Reportedly, the piece garnered significant interest from collectors, with the final hammer price being nearly double the auction estimate of USD 15m.
The buyer, Ryan Zurrer, Founder of Dialectic, an “alternative asset capital enterprise,” placed a bid of USD 25m and acquired the piece in the first three minutes of the auction. “Secured the ONE. Thank you beeple for the visionary innovation, amazing new energy and hilarious positive vibes that you’ve brought to both crypto and art,” Zurrer tweeted.
Meanwhile, Farokh.eth, a crypto influencer, NFT advocate, and founder of Rug Radio, described the auction as a milestone for NFTs. “Another huge moment for NFTs and for the culture we are all trying to build within the traditional art world. Keep going my friends!,” the tweet said.