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Beeple To Auction A Sculpture “Human One” Worth $15M at Christie’s

NFT-based artist Beeple’s first real-life sculpture situated on rotating LED screens highlights Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale on November 9. Set to be worth $15 million, HUMAN ONE made its debut at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries the morning of October 30 and on view to the public before the sale.

Mike Winkelmann, who goes by the name of Beeple, sold a digital collection for $69 million at the same auction house earlier this year, setting the record as the most expensive NFT collection sold and the third by a living artist. As more artists develop and sell non-fungible pieces to the highest bidder, NFT, the newest digital trend in the art world, makes waves and the artist leads the way.

The monolithic sculpture, titled “HUMAN ONE,” is a real-life 7-foot tall column covered with LED panels. A life-sized astronaut dressed in a mirrored helmet and silver outfit appears on the LED screens of the white mahogany column. The astronaut strolls across several science fiction-themed sceneries as the column revolves on an axis. 

The sculpture, which also comes with an NFT, can change landscapes multiple times a day, while the backdrops are chosen from a pool of one-minute clips stored on the ethereum blockchain. Beeple will contribute new designs to this work of art throughout time, allowing it to evolve.

Noah Davis, Christie’s Head of Digital Art and Online Sales says collectors desire to explore their distinct interests, which leads them to buy something unique. According to market data tracker Nonfungible.com, artists have sold NFT-based art for $1.8 billion in the last year, and progressively, Christie’s has set up a platform that will take payments in Ethereum, Bitcoin, and US dollars to facilitate the auction.

Beeple stated that he aimed to “tiptoe into” physical art during a news briefing with CNN in March 2021. Before the pandemic, the artist had planned to show prints at many galleries. Winkelmann claimed that before creating NFTs, he had “never sold a print for more than $100.” His assumption that the popularity of non-fungible tokens would rise, blurring the line between physical and digital art, led him into his first successful auction.

According to a press release, Noah Davis thinks artists may feel encouraged to outdo themselves after large sales.

“The pressure on artists of all stripes to outdo themselves in the wake of a massive success can be daunting. In Mike’s case, he practically knocked the entire art world off its axis earlier this year, so I can’t imagine what that weight—the weight of the expectations of this enormous, global audience—must feel like. But I do know that with HUMAN ONE, and against the odds, Mike has achieved something historic (again).” 

BEEPLE (B. 1981), HUMAN ONE, token ID: 1, Executed in 2021 and minted on 28 October 2021.

© Christie’s Images Limited 2021