Beeple sold a simple jpeg image for a whopping $69 million, which is around Rs. 501 crore in Indian currency. It was just a reflection of a digital image created through photographic tools. But what was the pensive nature of the image is intriguing to know, and we shall find out more about the portrait as we move ahead.
It is capitulating to wonder how a digital image got such an amazing responsive bid at the major auction, which was hosted at Christie’s on Wednesday evening. The famous auction house had tweeted last month that it was going to hold the auction for Everyday’s- The First 5000 days, by Beeple.
Everyday’s is a series of artwork created by the renowned digital artist Beeple. He has been creating a resplendent piece of artwork every single day since the year 2007.
Beeple has been a promising name in the digital art framework in recent years, but its dominance has been blown away by the NFT trade mania. So what are NFTs, and how are they sold in the mega auctions across the world?
NFTs are digital networks that have been signed using the blockchain to make them unique and are popularly bought and sold using cryptocurrency. They are a unique form of digital art that involves the maneuvering of bitcoin in the trade of distinctive portraits across buyers. NFTs necessarily don’t have to be an image all the time, but anyhow they appear to be just that. Videos, in-game items in video games, and even a tweet have been auctioned as NFTs.
NFTs are a relatively new trend in cryptocurrency affairs but are ramping up the pace quite rapidly around the world. Moreover, it is unlike bitcoin as it is simply a digital asset. A prime example of the non-fungible token would be digital art, as it may seem similar but is eccentric in some or the other way.
HOW HAS NFTs UNFOLDED THE DIGITAL ARTWORK OF CHRISTIE TO BE A CREATIVE DIMENSION?
Apart from the extravagant sale of digital artwork at fancy auction houses, NFTs provide a whole new dimension to the world of creativity, which is far more diverse than the monotonous way of the copy-paste, the post-repost world of the internet.
Each work of art is associated with the proof of ownership that is recorded on a blockchain. All the digital art images have been bought and sold using the popular cryptocurrency Ethereum. Various proponents have said that NFTs have the resurgence to revolutionize the way different buyers think around the world. And it would massively assist the artists at every level to distribute and sell their work.
In today’s digital era, NFTs could change the interaction between the customers and the artists to provide an illuminating technical transmission on their hands. The trends in the blockchain network have been in evolution since the past two centuries, and now the Non-fungible token has taken the world by surprise as each of them is a blockchain entry that represents a unique item that cannot be interchanged with another.
THE POSTULATION BEHIND BEEPLE EVERYDAY AND HOW HAS GAINED POPULARITY AROUND THE GLOBE?
Almost ten years ago, on May 1st, 2007, a visual artist Mike Winkelmann, who is better known as Beeple, started spending one or two hours a day creating some kind of picture from scratch. While his wishlist was to create something exceptional for several blogs, he started contemplating the idea of making a brand out of his digital framework.
He branded the concept as Everyday, whose motive was and still is to keep learning. His vocation was to push himself by all limits to be creative and make something enticing almost out of nothing. He admired people around him with his exceptional thoughts of using tools that he has far from mastered;
“I’ve thought a lot about what I want to do that day. On the one hand, it’s like, well, it’s just another day. But then it’s like, well, I’ve been doing this for 10 years so it isn’t really like any other day. The entire point of the project is that each specific day does not matter that much,” said Winkelmann on Everyday’s Thirteenth anniversary last May.
Winklemann has managed to overcome the fear of facing a blank page and the compulsion of overworking the project research. By complying with his efforts towards improvement in the software, designs, and photography, he tried to invent new things, and definitely, it has paid off for him.
WHAT WAS SO SPECIAL IN THE DIGITAL ARTWORK THAT IT GOT SOLD AT SUCH A WHOPPING PRICE?
Firstly, let’s all of us address that $69.7 million quid is an enormous amount, and the reason behind splurging such money would be something more than ordinary.
It’s staggering to think that a simple jpeg file of the image that you can copy and paste to your computer is sold for such a large amount in bunks in the auction house at Christie’s. What glorified the people’s attention towards the image was that this particular digital file has been authenticated using bitcoin and is unique from the rest of the images that have ever occurred on the online marketplace or any auction house.
According to the policies of Beeple, only the person who claims the image could have a copy of the First 5000 days. If another copy is retracted from any other source, then Everyday is entitled to declare the sale null and void. Therefore, the image has such integrity and craze across the world.
Everyday’s concept has shown a substantial upward rise in recent years as more visual artists have collaborated in the workspace and got recognition by selling their work virtually without wandering about in the physical locations.
Whatever the digital artwork worth nowadays, it is enticing to see youth artists developing such extraordinary talents in a short span of time, which could not have been possible without the usage of cryptocurrency.
HOW DID THE BIDDING WAR BECOME SUCH A SUCCESS?
The hype around the sale was so high that almost all negotiators from seven countries got involved in the bidding war. The first 10 minutes of the sale saw an exponential number of 100 bids which kept on increasing with the next bid.
Noah Davis, a specialist in post-war and contemporary art for Christie’s brought Beeple to the auction house’s attention after reviewing the artwork of the renowned graphic artist.
“We went from an opening bid of $100 to more than $1 million. We had bidders from seven different countries,” Davis told Yahoo Finance.
Beeple has elongated his worth globally as his Digital pictures have already won him about 1.8 million followers on Instagram. He has collaborated with the top celebrities in the world, which glorifies his persistence of becoming a significant figure in the world of digital art.
The companies with whom he has collaborated, include the likes of Louis Vuitton, Katy Perry, and Nike. What has been fascinating, this was the first time that Christie’s has used a digital payment method for transferring the purchase price paid from the buyer’s Ether wallet to its wallet.
Had it been any other form of currency apart from NFTs, the sale would not have been possible at such a whopping amount.
NFTs moved a step forward in their accomplishments as they could do the extraordinary, which was not even possible for the big fiascos, including Picasso’s genius.
It could also generate a future stream of profits for the artist each time the work is handed over to another recipient. The percentage gain is invaluable at this moment as we have not faced a similar case before. Artists claimed that some proportion of the selling price should be entitled to them during each resale, and thus NFTs have excelled the demands of the visual artists.
HOW COULD THIS EVENT TURN OUT TO BE A LIFE-CHANGER FOR BEEPLE?
Despite the uncertainty raised by various artists over cryptocurrency, it could turn out to be a life-changing moment in the History of Everyday. Beeple has never stopped working for even a single day, and it is glorifying that it is reaping the rewards for his persistence after having to wait so long.
In a video published on Youtube, Beeple mentioned that he has never spent a day not creating content for its website or other contractual projects. He does not wish to keep a backlog, and so the company revolves about creating fresh digital artworks every day.
The First 5000 Days is a collage of the works he has made since he began, collected into a single image of 21,069 x 21,069 pixels, minted as an NFT on the 16th February 2021.
In the modern era of digitization, what I have acknowledged is that more artists should be obliged to involve their artwork on the online marketplace so that they could get the value of recognition at least, as they have worked constantly for prospering their careers around animations and graphics. Artists transpire an imagination of portraying our thoughts into creative and elusive portraits that everyone wishes to reflect upon, so doing a bit of favor for these digital artists would only prosper their approach towards making something exceptional with each coming day.