Have a good look at the image below. Would you believe if I say that its worth $69 million or even more? The name is “The first 5000 days” and this NFT collection artwork sold for $69 million.
If you are an NFT enthusiast, you know the name Beeple. He is the digital artist who made history by selling his collage of 5000 images, titled Everydays: The First 5000 Days, for a whopping $69.3 million at Christie’s, the prestigious auction house selling art since 1766. But how did this masterpiece come to be, and what it signifies for the future of digital art?
Beeple is the alias of Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer and digital artist from South Carolina. He started his Everydays project in 2007, inspired by British artist Tom Judd, who challenged himself to create and post one artwork daily. Beeple took up this challenge and never missed a day, producing one digital image every day for 13 years, using various software and techniques.
The images reflect Beeple’s interests, observations, and opinions on various topics, such as politics, pop culture, technology, and society. Some are humorous, some are disturbing, some are surreal, and some are prophetic. Some feature celebrities like Donald Trump, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West, and Elon Musk. Some reference events like the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the US presidential election. Some of them are original creations that showcase Beeple’s imagination and skill.
The First 5000 Days is a collection of all the 5000 images Beeple created from May 1st, 2007, to January 7th, 2021. It is arranged chronologically from left to right and top to bottom, forming a massive mosaic that measures 21,069 by 21,069 pixels. The artwork invites the viewer to zoom in and explore each image and appreciate the overall composition and evolution of Beeple’s style and vision.
The First 5000 Days is not just an artwork but a non-fungible token (NFT). An NFT is a unique digital token artwork that lives on a blockchain, a secure and decentralized ledger that records transactions and verifies authenticity. Unlike traditional artworks that can be copied or forged, an NFT cannot be duplicated or altered, providing the buyer with clear proof of ownership and provenance.
The First 5000 Days is the first fully digital NFT sold by Christie’s, attracting a lot of attention and interest from collectors and investors worldwide. The bidding started at just $100 on February 25th, 2021, but soon skyrocketed to millions of dollars as more than 350 bidders competed for the coveted piece.
The auction ended on March 11th, 2021, with a final bid of $69.3 million by Vignesh Sundaresan (MetaKovan), a Singapore-based programmer and cryptocurrency investor who also founded the Metapurse NFT project.
The sale made Beeple one of the most expensive living artists in the world, placing him just below David Hockney and Jeff Koons. It also made The First 5000 Days the second most expensive NFT ever sold, surpassing other notable NFTs such as CryptoPunks (10 pieces sold for $7.6 million), Hashmasks (16 pieces sold for $9.4 million), and Nyan Cat (one piece sold for $590k).
The First 5000 Days are more than just an artwork; it is also a historical document that captures the zeitgeist of the past 13 years. It also represents Beeple’s dedication, discipline, and creativity. And it is also a catalyst for a new wave of digital art that challenges the traditional notions of value, ownership, and authenticity in the art world.
The First 5000 Days are not only a dazzling digital masterpiece; it is also a game-changer for NFTs and digital art.
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