クリスティーズ：ビープルのデジタル作品 NFT（非代替性トークン）「The First 5,000 Days 」69.3 Million 米国ドル Beeple "The First 5,000 Days" NFT Fetches US$69.3 Million @ Christie’s
art shit for yer facehole. —
13 years of everydays / free Creative Commons visuals
デジタルアーティスト・Beeple（本名：Mike Winkelmann マイク・ヴィンケルマン）による、NFT（Non-Fungible Token、非代替性トークン）に基づいたデジタルアート作品「Everydays – The First 5000 Days」が、2月25日〜3月11日に行われるクリスティーズのオンラインセール「First Open | Online」に出品され、結果として、69.3 Million 米国ドル（約75億円）で落札されました。
The buyer of a $70 million digital-only artwork was named on Friday by auction house Christie’s as a crypto asset investor who goes by the pseudonym “Metakovan”.
Metakovan, whose real name was not disclosed, is the founder of Metapurse, the world’s largest NFT fund, Christie’s said in a statement.
It sold for $69,346,250 (42,329.453 ETH), which Metakovan paid in the form of cryptocurrency Ether.
Noah Davis (Christie’s) about the first NFT at Christie’s
Watch Beeple React to the Historic $69.3m Sale of His Digital Work at Christie’s
Christie’s CEO on the record-breaking sale of Beeple’s NFT artwork
SINGAPORE.- Metakovan, the pseudonymous founder and financer of Metapurse, the largest NFT (unique digital assets) fund in the world, successfully bid and acquired EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, for $69,346,250 (~38474.82 ETH). This breaks the record for the most expensive NFT ever sold. Metakovan acquired the artwork during a single lot auction hosted by the 255-year-old auction house Christie’s, which opened for bidding on February 25th and concluded on March 11th at 10am EST.
The final auction price of a staggering $69+ million USD was not the only record broken in relation to the sale. The artwork was minted exclusively for Christie’s, making Christie’s the first major auction house to offer a purely digital work with a unique NFT and to accept cryptocurrency, in this case, Ethereum (Ether). Around 22 million viewers tuned in to Christies.com for the final moments of bidding.
Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie’s said, “We are pleased to have brought together two distinct collecting communities – the traditional and the digital – at exactly the right moment for digital artists, for blockchain technology, and for cryptocurrency. The possibilities for what comes next in this field are inspiring and we look forward to more collaborative innovations in the near future.”
The artwork depicts a digital collage of 5,000 unique artworks created by digital artist Mike Winkelman, now famously known as Beeple, showcasing the cumulation of his work creating and posting an artwork every day consecutively for over 13-and-a-half years.
Metakovan further explains the historical importance of this acquisition: “When you think of high-valued NFTs, this one is going to be pretty hard to beat. And here’s why – it represents 13 years of everyday work. Techniques are replicable and skill is surpassable, but the only thing you can’t hack digitally is time. This is the crown jewel, the most valuable piece of art for this generation. It is worth $1 billion.”
This piece now ranks third amongst the most valuable artworks ever sold by a living artist, after works by Jeff Koons and David Hockney.
Twobadour, Steward of Metapurse, said that this event marks a shift in how the world perceives wealth, accomplishment, and high art. “A renowned auction house, a contemporary artist; a wholly digital masterpiece that lives on a shared financial platform on the internet, acquired by a person of color. This certainly is history. We also hope it is the future.”
Mumbai: An Indian-born blockchain entrepreneur has revealed himself as the mystery buyer who paid a record $69.3 million for a digital artwork last week, describing his purchase as a shot fired for racial equality.
Programmer Vignesh Sundaresan (ヴィグニッシュ・サンダレサン), who is based in Singapore, said in a blog post Thursday that he had purchased the most expensive digital artwork ever sold to “show Indians and people of colour that they too could be patrons” of the arts.
“This is the crown jewel, the most valuable piece of art for this generation,” Sundaresan said of the piece, that now ranks third among the most valuable artworks ever sold by a living artist, following works by Jeff Koons and David Hockney.
From Christie’s website:
Created over 5,000 days by the groundbreaking artist, this monumental collage was the first purely digital artwork (NFT) ever offered at Christie’s
EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS sold online for $69,346,250
On 1 May 2007, Mike Winkelmann, aka the digital artist Beeple, posted a new work of art online. He did the same thing the next day and the next, and the next one after that, creating and posting a brand-new digital picture, or ‘everyday’ as he called it, every single day for 13-and-a-half years. Now those individual pieces have been brought together in EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, a unique work in the history of digital art.
Minted exclusively for Christie’s, the monumental digital collage was offered as a single lot sale concurrently with First Open, and realised $69,346,250. Marking two industry firsts, Christie’s is the first major auction house to offer a purely digital work with a unique NFT (Non-fungible token) — effectively a guarantee of its authenticity — and to accept cryptocurrency, in this case Ether, in addition to standard forms of payment for the singular lot.
‘Christie’s had never offered a new media artwork of this scale or importance before,’ says Noah Davis, specialist in Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie’s in New York. ‘Acquiring Beeple’s work is a unique opportunity to own an entry in the blockchain itself created by one of the world’s leading digital artists.’
From simple drawings to life in 3D
Consumers of internet culture will already be familiar with the South Carolina-based graphic designer and motion artist known as Beeple.
His visionary and often irreverent digital pictures have propelled him to the top of the digital art world, winning him 1.8 million followers on Instagram and high-profile collaborations with global brands ranging from Louis Vuitton to Nike, as well as performing artists from Katy Perry to Childish Gambino.
The Newspaper 2021/3/5:
beeple_crap holy FUCKKKKK!!!
So, will Winkelmann be going back to creating concert visuals or is he now firmly ensconced in the art world? “I’m an art world son of a bitch!” he exclaims. “Beeple, that fucker is here to stay.”
キュレーター フランチェスコ・ボナミ：バッドアート連邦捜査局に電話してください ！！！
Curator Francesco Bonami: Please call FBBA Federal Bureau of Bad Art 1-800-Badart 000 !!!
Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2021
Beeple NFT Fetches Record-Breaking $69 Million in Christie’s Sale
The digital collage earned a bid higher than those seen for works by Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dalí or Paul Gauguin
Cryptocurrency and blue-chip art collided Thursday when a self-taught artist named Mike Winkelmann, who goes by the professional name of Beeple, sold a digital image online at Christie’s for $69.3 million. That’s more than anyone has ever bid for artwork by Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dalí or Paul Gauguin—and it makes Beeple the third most-expensive living artist after Jeff Koons and David Hockney.
The sale could prove a watershed moment for crypto asset markets as well as an art world suddenly obsessed with NFTs, even as many top collectors and dealers admit they are still figuring out what the digital trademarks do.
NFTs incorporate technology similar to bitcoin, the decade-old digital currency, albeit with a key difference: Whereas one bitcoin is exchangeable with another bitcoin, each NFT serves as a singularly unique marker for the digital asset it tags. NFTs have also been used to sell tweets and NBA video highlights to bidders.
The winner of Beeple’s 2021 piece, “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days,” will receive the image along with its unique token, which will be sent to the winner’s address—the unique identifier for a cryptocurrency account. This token will convey ownership from the artist to its new owner.
This same token will be recorded on a digital ledger known as a blockchain that will store details about the work’s creation along with its new owner (not yet divulged) and any future owners should it get resold. In the same way an artist’s signature and ownership history helps authenticate a painting, the NFT on this $69.3 million image will ensure it remains certified in perpetuity. Copies of the same image uploaded elsewhere will not.
The Wisconsin-born artist, whose name Beeple nods to an 1980s yeti-like monster toy, said he was clueless about NFTs until last fall when he was tipped to the format’s popularity among cryptocurrency investors. He doesn’t have ties to a traditional gallery. “People describe it as falling down a rabbit hole,” he said in an interview before the sale, “and that is quite accurate.”
His piece, which elicited 353 bids over the course of the 15-day auction, depicts an amalgam of political cartoons and lush, videogame-like scenes that the 39-year-old artist created over slightly more than 13 years, completing one new work each day. Christie’s said the resulting mashup will remain intact; its owner will be able to zoom in to see the 5,000 individual artworks that make up the collage—from endearing early portraits of Beeple’s uncle to post-apocalyptic fantasies of cyborgs and a lactating Michael Jackson—but the works can’t be broken up and sold individually.
Christie’s expert Noah Davis said NFT art is still so new that the house didn’t put an estimate on the work, the artist’s first top-tier auction appearance. Mr. Davis was introduced to the artist after Beeple sold a small group of his NFT artworks online for $3.5 million three months ago on a platform called Nifty Gateway. Beeple followed up last month by selling another tokenized artwork online for $6.6 million. Christie’s said it decided to accept cryptocurrency for the first time with this sale, but it’s unclear yet if the winner paid that way or with cash.
The sale could “push traditional artists to think about how they could do interesting things with their work in a digital way,” the artist said, “and I think it’s going to push digital artists like myself to think of how they can come into the physical realm.”
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have exploded onto the digital art scene this past year. Proponents say they are a way to make digital assets scarce, and therefore more valuable.
Certainly his arrival on the art scene—and the NFT art phenomenon overall—is churning up the kind of feverish ebullience, and brewing backlash, that’s largely been absent from the art scene amid the pandemic. Now, it’s all anybody in art circles can talk about, on the Clubhouse app and beyond. The artist moderated his own “closing party” chat on the app the morning of the sale, and one of the members of his panel was Jehan Chu, longtime collector and co-founder of a cryptocurrency venture-capital firm. During the forum, Mr. Chu said, “I think there was a malaise in the art world, but now everyone is excited again–and it’s because of this.”
Minutes later in the chat, when the artist was informed that bidding had surpassed $20 million, he laughed and said, “I feel super lucky. I didn’t see this coming.”
Others needed more persuading. “It’s a pure hype play,” Steven Sacks, founder and director of the New York gallery, bitforms, said a few days before the Beeple sale. Mr. Sacks said he shows digital artists who have been experimenting with new media since the 1960s, and while some of them have sold room-filling installations for over $1 million, the more common price level hovers under $100,000, he said. Last week, former Christie’s auctioneer Loïc Gouzer posted an image on Instagram of an Amy Sillman painting he offered for sale on his Fair Warning app, reminding people that was “created in the physical world” and tagging it #notnft.
Mike Steib, chief executive of the art marketplace Artsy, said the novelty of NFTs could be fueling much of the frenzy. Beeple had a reputation as a popular digital artist ahead of this sale, with nearly 2 million Instagram followers. “Will collectors still be this excited when the houses are offering up the 520th edition of the 27th most-popular NFT artist?” Mr. Steib said.
Kathleen Breitman, co-founder of the cryptocurrency Tezos, said private equity funds with deep investments in cryptocurrency are also likely behind the NFT art rush, as are individual investors with “ether to burn,” referring to the bitcoin alternative. If NFT art is to evolve, the space will need to draw in established artists with curatorial followings and galleries, many of whom remain wary of joining the fray.
Mr. Sacks, the dealer, said he’s open to rethinking the NFT phenomenon, especially if his artists see creative potential in it. Two of his artists, Refik Anadol and Jonathan Monaghan, recently created tokenized works of their own to upload and sell. Mr. Anadol quickly sold 300 editions of a work, at $1,000 apiece. (His small video sculptures in the gallery typically sell in editions of five for $35,000 each.)
What’s more, a man who lost his bid for one of Mr. Monaghan’s surreal portraits on an NFT art platform wound up stopping by the gallery last week—in person. “That’s what we want,” the dealer said.
How non-fungible tokens became the latest tech speculation bubble
From animated cats and sex tapes to major albums, artists are using NFTs to sell their work. But why?
Sat 13 Mar 2021 The Guardian
So the owner of an NFT is definitely the person who owns the artwork?
The point and promise of an NFT would seem to be just this – but the reality is quite different. The idea of a blockchain is it’s an unfalsifiable public ledger of ownership. The bitcoin blockchain tracks which wallets own which bitcoins, and tracks the transactions between the two.
An NFT does identify what artwork, code, audio or video it links to, and the history of its trading. So, where there is an NFT artefact that’s been created by the artist (for example, Azealia Banks’s new audio sex tape, sold last week for $17,000), owning the NFT is the same as owning the art.
But it’s not always that simple. One anonymous digital artist has been creating NFTs in the style of Banksy. The NFT does nothing to identify that artist, or settle the debate over whether or not the artworks are actually by Banksy. Similarly, you could create an NFT of the Observer logo right now, but it wouldn’t give you any rights to the trademark, or any copyright. Stating that you own the NFT to a particular work on its own means nothing if someone else can demonstrate they own the copyright. That means, in what should be the simplest-use case for NFTs – a digital artist using them to sell his or her own work – when auction houses have stepped in to manage the trade they have brought in traditional certifying bodies to verify that the person making the NFT is the original artist.
A system that supposedly outsources the need for intermediaries to verify trust, then, ends up reliant on those intermediaries.
This Miami art collector just sold a free video clip for $6.6 million. It’s all crypto
Miami Herald, Andres Viglucci
March 03, 2021
Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile may hold one of the most important art collections in the world. It just happens to be all online.
A Miami-based mathematician, Rodriguez-Fraile received his MBA from Columbia University and until recently, had been working a traditional investment job.
That all changed when he became interested in cryptocurrencies and started trading in non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, on a blockchain platform.
One day, the Instagram artist known as Beeple — real name Mike Winkelmann, hometown Charleston, S.C. — reached out to Rodriguez-Fraile for advice on how to sell his digital works in the crypto-world. Beeple, 39, had been creating one new image a day for more than a decade but had no way to sell them.
“I realized this person was a superstar and was going to get very far,” Rodriguez-Fraile, 32.
He bought two works by Beeple at auction on the art-commerce site niftygateway.co. Once he realized that Beeple and crypto-art were becoming mainstream he decided to sell one of the works, a 10-second clip interpreting the aftermath of the 2020 election called “CROSSROAD.”
Gaveled price on online marketplace Nifty Gateway? $6.6 million. Rodriguez-Fraile bought it for $67,000 in October.
The price it commanded, Rodriguez-Fraile said, “Serves as a signal to the outside world that people are very, very serious about this, and it can be very valuable.”
On Niftygateway, the buyer can decide whether to pay in the cryptocurrency Ethereum or in standard currency like U.S. dollars. And unlike traditional resales in the conventional secondary art marketplace, the artist by contract receives 10% of any resale of a work. (In conventional resales, an artist gets nothing beyond the original price even if the work has since significantly appreciated in value.)
“One of the most impressive things about this movement is there’s a general standard that the creators take 10% of all future sales,” Rodriguez-Fraile said. “In this case it was given to him (Beeple) as the rightful owner. This creates a beautiful relationship between creators and collectors. It’s very good for the future of the industry.”
Sales in this new virtual domain have also helped veteran Miami street artist David Anasagasti, known by his artistic moniker Ahol Sniffs Glue. Anasagasti said he has been creating moving digital images on his cellphone and posting them on social media for six years. Even though the posts proved popular, he said, he couldn’t figure out how to sell or monetize the files.
But a friend, Tik Tok and YouTube star Sam Pepper, helped him create a platform to sell the artworks on superrare.com, another commercial crypto-art site. (https://superrare.co/aholsniffsglue).
One advantage over a traditional sales platform: Anasagasti can track his pieces without sifting through reams of paperwork.
Anasagasti and Pepper say they could not be happier with the results on the superrare site, which sells exclusively in Ethereum. The proceeds go directly into the artist’s cryptowallet.
The digital works have been going for the equivalent of $3,000 to $6,000 each. Pieces are sold for a set price or can be put up for auction. Artists must apply to sell on the site and it’s been so popular there’s a wait list, Pepper said.
“Dude, it’s crazy. I’m really enjoying it,” Anasagasti said. “I’ve always seen a necessity to stay busy. I was making those things on a cellphone and it was from the heart. But to be able to monetize on that is great.
Said Pepper: “His pieces have been flying off the site. We’re blown away by it. This is all new to everyone. It’s a very interesting space to get your head around.”
Anasagasti said the process is transparent — and in the end, much like selling conventionally.
“It’s like working with a gallery you trust,” he said. But, he cautioned: “Do as much research as you can. Make sure you know what you’re doing.”
DAMIEN HIRST IS GETTING INTO THE NFT GAME. (Kind of amazing that it actually took the entrepreneurial artist this long.) The YBA told the Financial Times that his forthcoming venture “challenges the concept of value through money and art.” Titled The Currency, it will involve 10,000 works on paper—twice the number of images that comprised the Beeple NFT sold for $69.3 million last week, for those keeping score. Hirst offered this tease: “The whole project is an artwork, and anyone who buys The Currency will participate in this work. It’s not just about owning it.”
‘We can use NFTs to support good causes’: Pussy Riot mints and sells first NFT to raise money for women’s shelters
The video, titled Terrestrial Paradise, was bought for around £128,000 by the Iranian-born art collector and political activist Amir Soleymani
The Russian performance art punk music group Pussy Riot have minted and sold their first NFT (non-fungible token), generating 100 ETH (£128,000) in an auction on 14 March via the platform Foundation.
The NFT is for the official music video for their latest single Panic Attack, directed by Asad Malik and filmed on 106 cameras as an immersive augmented reality experience.
The video, titled Terrestrial Paradise, first depicts a utopian, kawaii world before moving into darker realms. It features a hologram of the Pussy Riot founding member Nadya Tolokonnikova, who eventually ends up in a digital wasteland alongside several of her slaughtered clones.
“After serving two years in a labour camp, I’m still struggling with mental health issues,’ Tolokonnikova says in the description of the YouTube video. “Trauma, fear and insecurity never fully go away, causing depression episodes and deep anxiety.”
In a Tweet, Pussy Riot say they intend to use the proceeds from the sale to support women’s shelters in Russian and to continue to create activist art. Currently, two members of Pussy Riot—Masha Alekhina and Lucy Shteyn—are under house arrest after participating in protests supporting opposition leader Aleksei Navalny earlier this year.
The Terrestrial Paradise video is one of four being auctioned by the group via the Foundation app. The video accompanies the title track of the three-song Pussy Riot EP Panic Attack, which features the two previous singles, TOXIC (with Dorian Electra and produced by 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady) and Sexist (featuring Hofmannita).
Amir Soleymani, the Iranian-born art collector, crypto enthusiast and political activist who bought the work, tells The Art Newspaper that he hoped his purchase would spur other collectors to take a greater interest in socially engaged art on the blockchain. “We can use NFTs to support good causes and communities, it’s a great thing to do, so I’m happy to be part of this.”
Elon Musk @elonmusk
I’m selling this song about NFTs as an NFT
I’m selling this song about NFTs as an NFT pic.twitter.com/B4EZLlesPx
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 15, 2021
Almine Rech is pleased to present a first time collaboration with Nifty Gateway and artist César Piette. Four NFTs by the artist will be launched through the Nifty Gateway platform today at 1.30 PM EST.
• Redhead woman on seascape / Edition of 100 – 250 $
• Snow on mountain / Edition of 50 – 499 $
• Vanitas with green skull and copper vase / Edition of 50 – 499 $
• Yellow and green bird / Edition of 25 – 799 $
French artist César Piette’s work questions the materiality of the image and the nature of painting, while his use of traditional techniques — monochromatic layers, perspective, light, composition, and bold use of shadow — connects him to the history of figurative painting.
Art World Gets Crash Course in NFTs; a Frenzy Ensues
After Beeple’s $69 million sale, Christie’s remakes its sale categories, Sotheby’s is offering digital artworks and accepting Bitcoin and galleries are setting up task forces to study up on crypto-millionaires. It’s ‘like we just discovered an unknown continent.’
Digital artists like Quayola are transforming their art into NFTs, including 2016’s “Gardens of Summer #1,” shown here during an exhibition at Shanghai’s How Art Museum. The artist has since uploaded a tokenized version of the same work on digital art platform, Niio Art.
The art market is entering its NFT Period. Last week’s $69 million sale of a digital artwork by an artist known as Beeple at Christie’s is reverberating through the traditional art world, with top auction houses, galleries and collectors plotting countermoves and taking crash courses.
The industry-wide shakeup stems from the meteoric rise of digital artworks bundled with nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. These tokens amount to digital certificates of authenticity and allow for the trading and tracking of digital works that only exist on screens—a tall order for the art market until recently.
Sotheby’s plans to join the fray next month by selling artist Pak’s NFT works and allowing bidders to pay for them using digital currencies, a first for the house. Ed Dolman, chief executive of boutique auctioneer Phillips, said he is coming under pressure from “masses” of people angling to consign tokenized art to the house’s major sales in May. Marc Glimcher, president and chief executive of Pace Gallery, likened the atmosphere to a gold rush, saying he’s fielding 25 calls a day from longtime art collectors as well as newcomer cryptocurrency investors angling to get in on the NFT art craze.
Guillaume Cerutti, Christie’s CEO, who arguably accelerated the frenzy by giving Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, the blue-chip auction treatment, said his phone is ringing off the hook. “You can’t imagine how many people in the traditional art world are curious,” Mr. Cerutti said, “like we just discovered an unknown continent.”
Christie’s is aiming to capitalize on the momentum by reorganizing its sales in May in part to appeal to millennials and cryptocurrency investors who want more emerging art and NFTs in the big-league auction mix, the house said. Instead of labeling its two biggest sales by their artistic styles—like impressionist-modern and postwar-contemporary—Christie’s will slot its offerings by time frame, specifically the 20th century and 21st century. The older category will include Claude Monet’s 1899-1903 “Waterloo Bridge, Effect of Fog,” with an estimate of around $35 million. The newer category will focus on art created since the 1980s and will include at least one NFT, said Alex Rotter, the auction house’s chairman of 20th- and 21st-century art.
Mr. Rotter said the strategy was already in the works ahead of the NFT boom, but the sudden popularity of the digital medium showed the house that the art world was primed for an overhaul. “People are collecting art differently now, and it’s time for some radical changes,” Mr. Rotter said. “We need to engage and encourage new categories and new art forms.”
The art market, coming off a pandemic year marked by sluggish sales, also sees an opportunity to cozy up to a largely untapped audience of crypto-millionaires. Many of these, like the Singapore-based buyer of Beeple’s $69 million work, who goes by Metakovan, have already amassed collections of digital trading card-like tokens, some attached to sports clips and pixelated cartoon characters. It’s too soon to know if these investors even want to buy a real Monet with their digital money, but many could definitely afford one: Over the past year, the value of a single bitcoin has surged more than 900%, from around $5,400 in mid-March last year to around $56,000 on Wednesday, according to CoinDesk, a bitcoin-focused research site. Mr. Glimcher, who bought cryptocurrency in the past year, said he and other art-world power brokers are “just now realizing that the crypto community is bigger and richer than the art world.”
Now, his and other top-tier galleries are scrambling to identify major cryptocurrency players and brush up on the digital artists they have been championing without notice from the art-world elite. By fall, Mr. Glimcher said Pace should be set up to accept digital currencies for art it will sell physically. He said he can imagine several of his mainstay artists like David Hockney and Lucas Samaras experimenting with NFTs. Mr. Glimcher is brainstorming a way his artists’ tokenized artworks could be sold through his gallery, rather than being auctioned elsewhere. Almine Rech Gallery, which has locations in several cities including Paris, already has an artist, César Piette, producing works for the NFT market.
Dealer Rachel Lehmann said she formed a four-person task force six weeks ago to “plunge into the due diligence and set up the structures we need” to start accepting digital currencies for works in her New York gallery, Lehmann Maupin, by fall. She notes, however, that none of her own artists are interested in exploring NFT art themselves yet. “Serious, young millennials are approaching us saying they want to pay in cryptocurrency,” she said. “I feel like we are in a revolution.”
NFT collectors and artists are also exploring ways to incorporate their holdings into the traditional art cosmos by lending their tokenized artworks to museums. Beeple, in an interview with the Journal after the sale, said he hopes museums will call him to borrow or buy his works. Daniel Birnbaum, a longtime curator at Acute Art, an entity that helps artists produce pieces that employ virtual-reality and augmented-reality technology, said he thinks museums are likely studying up on Beeple and others in the new digital “star system.”
In the short term, collectors are likely to start seeking NFTs that can serve as proof of physical art purchases on blockchain, a digital ledger that tracks ownership, or as digital counterparts to their physical art holdings. Kathleen Breitman, co-founder of the cryptocurrency Tezos, said collectors who buy a painting could start asking its artist or gallery for the work’s “digital twin” that can be added to the blockchain. “Collectors will want a two-fer bundle,” Ms. Breitman said.
Christie’s experimented with this hybrid last October when it sold an NFT attached to Robert Alice’s disc-like painted wall relief, “Block 21.” The work, which sold for $131,250, was part of the artist’s “Portraits of a Mind” 40-piece series that painted the founding code behind Bitcoin.
Not a crypto-millionaire yet? Digital art platforms like Niio Art are currently developing more affordable alternatives so art lovers who want to participate in the NFT phenomenon can still display tokenized art at home. In the next few months, Niio’s founder Rob Anders said the platform’s 15,000 works—including NFT artworks by artists like Jacolby Satterwhite and an artist who calls himself Quayola—will be accessible through a Spotify-like subscription plan. People or companies who pay $5 to $80 a month can access a continually revolving scroll of digital images, including tokenized versions, they can project on screens anywhere.
“Years ago, we pitched this idea to the auction houses and they sent us to their IT people,” Mr. Anders said. “They didn’t get it, but now they do. Galleries, curators, collectors—we all want to be in the same tech ecosystem.”
Lessons From the Nifty Gateway NFT Heist: Not Your Keys, Not Your Art
Mar 17, 2021
Nifty Gateway, the popular non-fungible token marketplace, issued a statement Monday that a small group of its users experienced “account takeovers.” Victims claimed they either had their NFT art stolen or NFTs purchased and then stolen, using their credit card information. The NFTs were then sold again.
Today, however, a victim was tweeting that Nifty was able to return the stolen NFTs.
Nifty Gateway has not responded to a request for comment on how it was able to return the NFTs, but it appears the thief did not move them from the centralized marketplace.
As captured by the Verge and crypto-media outlet Coindesk, at least three Nifty Gateway users tweeted pleas for help from the platform between Saturday and early Monday morning. The largest publicly disclosed loss came from a user with the Twitter handle Keyboard Monkey, who alleged that the digital mugger(s) had pilfered more than $150,000 in NFTs from their account, as well as charging “like $20K worth of art” using the credit card on file there.
Another user, Michael Miraflor, claimed that his payment details had been used to buy over $10,000 in new NFTs just before his entire holdings were transferred to two mysterious accounts. One of those accounts, he alleged in a later tweet, included “100s of NFTs, which might be housing other people’s stolen property”; the other, he claimed, was “stealing and selling on the secondary market so the account looks empty.”
Any collector who buys a painting in New York owes state use tax because paintings are physical goods. What about NFTs?
The simple answer is no.
New York State’s sales tax law was enacted more than 50 years ago, when the very concept of digital art would have seemed straight out of The Jetsons, says attorney and art law expert Thomas Danziger.
“The tax law was always intended to apply to tangible personal property,” he says.
“A purchase of an NFT is in essence a purchase of a piece of code in the blockchain—a digital asset,” says Diana Wierbicki, partner and global head of art law at Withers. “Therefore, an NFT should be considered intangible property, not subject to New York sales tax.”
But Wierbicki adds that, with the incredible sums now being shelled out for some NFTs, “it would not surprise me if New York decided to revisit this issue in the future so this is an issue to monitor.”
Still, Danziger notes that amending sales tax rules to include intangible properties like NFTs “would raise a host of legal and philosophical issues, including where, exactly, the NFT is located for tax purposes. Would its location on a server in New York be sufficient physical presence in the state for taxation? And if intangible NFTs are subject to New York sales tax, why not stocks and bonds traded electronically on the NASDAQ or New York Stock Exchange?”
“A sales tax applied to NFTs might raise some revenue for New York State,” Danziger adds. “But the one group that will definitely get rich off this will be the tax lawyers hired to litigate this issue.”
What about capital gains tax? Any collector who buys a painting for $1,000 and sells it for $100,000 will incur a tax bill on the difference. Is it the same case for NFTs? What if a collector buys and flips an NFT that has doubled in value?
Federal capital gains taxes apply to properties that are owned as investments. This typically includes properties that are not first homes, artworks, cars, stocks, bonds, and collectibles.
So yes, NFTs qualify.
“This means that for a collector or investor, but not a dealer who holds NFTs as inventory, NFTs should be treated as a capital asset,” Wierbicki says. “Upon the sale of an NFT, the capital gains tax would be imposed at the short-term or long-term rate, depending on whether the owner has held the asset for over a year.”
Short-term rates, which kick in when an asset is sold after being held for less than one year, are higher than long-term rates.
What if I used cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ether, to buy my NFT? What are the tax implications?
Things get a little tricky here, if only for the simple reason that NFTs and cryptocurrencies are so tightly linked to one another. While you don’t have to use cryptocurrency to buy an NFT, many buyers do so, including the purchasers of the $69 million Beeple.
The Internal Revenue Service of the United States has a webpage with more than 45 frequently asked questions about cryptocurrency, as well as specific language on 2020 income returns asking taxpayers whether they have “received, sold, sent, exchanged, or otherwise acquired any financial interest in virtual currency” in the past year.
In other words, the government is starting to take cryptocurrency seriously.
That may seem overwhelming, but the IRS rules are reasonably clear, says art advisor Todd Levin. Let’s say you bought a unit of Ether a few years ago for $100, and it’s now worth $1,800. The IRS considers Ether a capital asset. So if you use it to purchase an NFT, that “creates a taxable event,” Levin says.
“That’s it, end of story. From the IRS point of view, you’re not spending currency, you’re spending an appreciated asset,” he adds.
So, similarly to if you sell a painting at auction that significantly appreciated in value since you bought it, you’re required to report your capital gains on your tax filing for that year.
What if I donate my NFT to a museum? Can I get a tax break?
“This is very new territory so we will be watching the space to see how the regulations evolve,” Wierbicki says.
But for now, the simple answer is yes—within certain limits.
“If you donate it to a museum, you can get a benefit for that like any other artwork, as long as it’s IRS-vetted and done the right way,” Levin says.
In short, if a collector donates an NFT that has been in their collection for at least one year to a museum, it may be eligible for a charitable contribution deduction in an amount equal to the fair-market value of the property.
Tighter legal regulations aimed at cracking down on money-laundering in the antiquities and art trade first cropped up in the UK in early 2020 and more recently in the US. The laws require that art-related businesses identify whomever is the “ultimate beneficial owner” in a sale, making it harder for collectors to conceal their identities. Will this affect NFT sales?
It’s still early days, explains Susan Mumford, co-founder of ArtAML, a company that facilitates customer due-diligence checks for dealers.
However, for the time being, “NFTs are a type of cryptoasset that don’t fall under the definition of ‘work of art’ in the UK’s money laundering regulations,” she says. “NFTs effectively mimic cryptocurrencies and could be used in similar ways, leading to similar risks. In reality, they are more akin to investment vehicles than tradeable art.”
Art and Law
Know Your Rights: Can I Make an NFT of Someone Else’s Artwork? + More Artists-Rights’ Questions, Answered
Plus, what can I do if an influencer is stealing my art? And do museums need special permissions when adapting exhibitions to the web?
Katarina Feder, March 25, 2021
I’ve been approached by many people interested in collaborating on NFTs because my firm, Artist Rights Society, is a clearinghouse for artist copyrights. We represent over 122,000 artists and estates worldwide, so if you want to reproduce an artwork for a catalogue or make a t-shirt for your museum gift shop, the request often flows through us. And the dynamic is the same for an NFT as it is for a t-shirt: the copyright for an artwork rests with its creator (unless the creator has been dead for 70 years).
If you’re an artist, that means you can make an NFT of your own work free and clear. If you want to make an NFT of an artwork that’s not your own, you need to go to the source for permission.
The latter concerns your “display rights” as a copyright holder. It’s a surprisingly tricky issue because there isn’t a ton of case law established here. There are a number of questions to consider: For starters, has the person photographed your work in a way that might be considered transformative due to their own creative input? To what extent is the photograph about your work, and to what extent is it about the influencer? (If the influencer is taking up more than 50 percent of the image by, say, posing in front of your painting, the photograph may be considered more about them than about your work.) Is the image likely to hurt your market? (An argument could be made that by even unwittingly sharing your work, the influencer is boosting your profile.)
Crypto-art craze reaches China at ‘NFT’ exhibition
BEIJING (AFP).- Bitcoin-inspired paintings and nightmarish faces conjured up by artificial intelligence, the global craze for “NFTs” — virtual authenticity certificates — swept into Beijing on Friday as curators opened one of the world’s first exhibitions dedicated to blockchain art.
The show includes digital paintings by American artist Beeple, who sold a collage at Christie’s for a record $69.3 million earlier this month.
A coin-shaped canvas by UK-based Robert Alice, covered in painted fragments of Bitcoin’s source code, hangs in a secluded room accompanied by a TV screen showing its digital twin.
Works curated by Chinese organisers Block Create Art run the gamut from computer-generated videos of metallic Buddhas to a virtual reality maze and folk art-inspired paintings.
A collection of old TV monitors play animated images including a rainbow-hued portrait by American teen artist FEWOCiOUS, while a GIF of an inflatable goose head by Chinese artist Yitian Sun gyrates on a nearby wall.
Blockchain adds “a kind of abundance to art,” curator Sun Bohan told AFP. “It’s a kind of new experiment and exploration.”
Wealthy collectors claim the bragging rights to ultimate ownership of an original virtual file even if the work can be endlessly copied.
“First Supper,” a psychedelic reworking of Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th century painting of Jesus’ Last Supper, comprises 22 visual elements created by different artists which can be sold through online auctions.
The one-off digital copy is on display at the Beijing show, meaning every time an element — the dinner table or the diners at the supper — changes hands, its collector can also change a colour or texture that will appear real-time on the screen at the exhibition.
Sun said blockchain will improve the “ecosystem” of the art world, changing the “liquidity of artworks, and the diversity of relationships between collectors and creators.”
German auction house Ketterer:
“Auch Robert Ketterer, der Chef des Auktionshauses Ketterer in München ist skeptisch, wenn es um Chancen digitaler Kunst auf dem Kunstmarkt geht. Ihm macht vor allem die Technik Sorgen. Der Rechenaufwand, um ein Bild zum Original zu machen und es mit dem Namen der Besitzerin oder des Besitzers zu verknüpfen, sei gigantisch: “Insofern denke ich, dass es mit der heutigen Technik für die Auktionen nicht interessant sein wird. Die Transaktionskosten sind zu hoch. Die ökologische Seite ist eine Katastrophe. Das sind alles Argumente, die noch nicht für eine Marktreife sprechen.”
MURAKAMI Takashi thinks to be remembered hundreds of years later, he has to join shitty NFT: “Murakami Flowers” for dumb NFT digital money speculators
NFTs prices linked to art down 70%. MURAKAMI Takashi, today: I sincerely apologize to those who have already put in their bids, but I hope you will understand the logic behind this withdrawal, the aim of which is to later allow you to enjoy my NFT works more conveniently and with peace of mind.
NFT デジタル作品 コレクターズ
NFT digital artworks collectors
what the hell’s an NFT pic.twitter.com/BcFylopM63
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) March 28, 2021
Mike Winkelmann alias Beeple in conversation with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev: I know you are a very busy man now, so I should not take so much of your time, but I have twenty-three questions.
Mike Winkelmann: That is OK. That is awesome. I feel like I should have come with some questions. I probably have way more than twenty-three questions. Maybe on a part two I will come up with my twenty-three questions.
Conversation between curator Michelle Kuo and artist Seth Price on the subject. It turns out that both Price and Beeple use the same 3D movie-making program to create still imagery. “So it’s a use of this extremely complex tool in a very dumb way, and it can be interesting when you misuse a tool,” Price says. When it comes to the rise of NFTs, he argues that “the reason that art is used here is because it, itself, is a good tool to further the larger project, which is developing these new forms of trading, speculation, circulation. Art is just a useful idiot in this scenario.”
The Buyers of Beeple’s $69 Million NFT Sold Thousands of Speculators on a Crypto Art Investment Scheme. So Far… It Is Not Going Well
Their new plan? Sell off a new $58 million NFT.
May 10, 2021
Screenshot of Twobadour making the pitch for B.20 to Beeple in episode 4 of ‘Inside B.20.’
Exactly two months ago today, Beeple’s Everydays — The First 5,000 Days NFT sold for close to $70 million at Christie’s. The buyer was the Metapurse fund, a group investing in digital art. The giant sale made Beeple one of the priciest artists alive, and planted the idea that NFTs were both the present and future of the art market in the mind of the public.
The record-busting price was also an advertisement of sorts for Metapurse’s own token. The fund had previously turned heads by buying a suite of 20 Beeple NFTs in December for the equivalent of $2.2 million. It then bundled all of them together and sold off 10 million tokens that represented fractional ownership shares in the trove. The pitch was that by investing (or speculating) in this B.20 token, as it’s called, everyday traders who could never afford a Beeple NFT could still own a piece of the upside of the NFT art revolution.
Because the B.20 token is traded on online exchanges, it has the collateral advantage that observers can track what the broader crypto-art investing world thinks the value of Metapurse’s holdings are, day to day and hour to hour. So, now that enough time has passed for the initial hype of the Christie’s sale to wear off, how’s the B.20 doing?
Not so well.
Graph of the price of the B.20 token from CoinMarketCap.com.
Screenshot of comments from the B.20 DIscord.
“We have to assume that our investment is lost,” writes Reem.
The previous episode, titled “The Idea Takes Shape,” ended on a cliffhanger. It showed footage of a Zoom call where Twobadour and other players behind B.20 tried to sell Beeple on the idea that offering fractional shares in his work was a good idea. Beeple had expressed skepticism. Episode four, “The Call,” picks up where that one left off. “My main concern off the top of my head is that people might not like this,” the artist says. “My other concern is that other artists will not like this.”
The emotional high point of the episode is reached when Twobadour drops the word “motherfucker” into his pitch, making Beeple laugh, and thereby winning him over. The moment is accompanied by the title card “Home Run.”
On the Twitch “watch party” debuting the episode, Twobadour’s interviewer, Alegria, was impressed. “It’s proof right there that sometimes you just need to drop a ‘motherfucker’ to get someone to listen to you,” Alegria raved. “Holy crap, that was a beautiful look at how this all went down.”