The engagement between the high-end art world and digital art, especially NFTs or non-fungible tokens, continues to grow at a fierce pace. In the latest major move in the new space, Sotheby’s is launching Sotheby’s Metaverse, its own dedicated platform for digital collectors offering an organized selection of NFTs chosen by the auction house’s specialists.
Calling the initiative “the first in the industry,” the auction house boasted that “Sotheby’s is the only auction house to create an exclusive and personalized NFT marketplace that will serve as the destination for NFT sales. “.
Over the past year, Sotheby’s has partnered with artists, curators and crypto collectors in an attempt to exploit the explosion of interest in blockchain-based art assets. The new proprietary NFT Marketplace aims to serve as a virtual gathering space for the most sought after NFTs, by combining curated selection with ‘cutting edge Web3 technology’.
Bidders will need to create a personal profile and receive a unique avatar created by crypto designer and digital artist Pak, which was the subject of the auction house’s first NFT sale in April 2021. The “The Fungible” collection from Pak has attracted nearly 3,000 new buyers to Sotheby’s and has sales of over $ 17 million.
At Sotheby’s Metaverse, buyers can make final payments in an array of cryptocurrencies or traditional cash (fiat currencies).To mark the launch, Sotheby’s unveiled a new Twitter account @Sothebysverse, as well as a dedicated Discord discussion platform.
While Michael Bouhanna and Max Moore continue to co-lead digital art sales, Managing Director Sebastian Fahey assumes the role of Executive Director of Sotheby’s Metaverse. They plan to expand the activities of the NFT to areas such as contemporary art, luxury and fashion, sports, music, entertainment, science and technology.
“When Sotheby’s first entered the world of NFTs earlier this year, it was immediately clear that we had so far only scratched the surface of the potential of this new medium and NFTs,” said Fahey said. “We are in a unique position at Sotheby’s to apply our expertise and curation to the burgeoning art world for the digital native generation. “
The Metaverse kicks off with the second iteration of its “Natively Digital” sale, this time titled “Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors”. It will showcase 53 works by 19 leading NFT collectors.
NFT collectors include VerticalCrypto Art, Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile, Pranksy, 888, j1mmy.eth, Seedphrase and WhaleShark, in addition to DJ, producer and Benihana heir Steve Aoki and DJ, reality TV star and heiress of the Hilton hotels Paris Hilton.
They have contributed to the works of well-known NFT artists like Dmitri Cherniak, Hackatao, Hideki Tsukamoto, 0xDEAFBEEF, Erick SnowFro, XCopy, Bored Ape Yacht Club of Yuga Labs, Larva Labs, Kevin Abosch, WhIsBe, Brendan Dawes and Serwah Attfuah.
There is also a contribution from Time review, “an exclusive typographic work ”by the creative director of DW Pine magazine. Called The lines of history (2021), the work includes 5,044 lines that made the cover of the magazine, including “Is God Dead?” “,” Are you mom enough? And “Yes, I am gay”.
The catalog can be viewed at metaverse.sothebys.com, and auctions are open from October 18 to 26. To date, Sotheby’s has sold more than $ 70 million worth of NFT / digital art, a spokesperson told Artnet News.
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