How Sotheby’s NFT Specialists Value NFTs and Source Artists

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  • Sotheby’s specialist Michael Buchanna sets the price of NFTs by “measuring the temperature” in the market.
  • Both Bouhanna and her colleague Matthew Iles have turned traditional art clients into NFT collectors.
  • They predict that generative and community-based art will continue to be popular.

After centuries of dealing with works of art and rare merchandise, the mention of the name Sotheby’s quickly implies luxury and luxury. But now, auction houses are challenging the irreplaceable token (NFT) Wild West.

Like rival auction house Christie’s, Sotheby’s began selling NFTs (certificates of ownership, primarily representing digital assets) earlier this spring.On its first sale, Sotheby’s raised $ 17 million from an anonymous, “substitutable” collection. Digital artist Pak..

Matthew Illes, Managing Director of Sotheby’s Metaverse, a dedicated NFT marketplace recently launched by Auction House, said: “NFTs have unleashed demand that was previously unexpressable commercially.”

Comparison of NFT and traditional artwork

Michael Bouhanna, co-head of digital art sales at Sotheby’s, says that an NFT needs to be “measured” by a particular artist or market in order to be evaluated.

“When pricing NFTs, we talk to all collectors to see the volume of the market (last sold and current demand),” he elaborated. As he approaches the sale date, he confirms the estimated price of the NFT on the ether, the cryptocurrency selected for the NFT sale, and updates the price of the piece in the US dollar or the applicable fiat currency, depending on the price fluctuation of the ether. increase.

Bouhanna says Sotheby’s procures NFT artwork in a similar way to choosing the physical artwork offered at more traditional auctions.

“We are trying to procure artists who already have an established market,” he said. “Very important to our collectors is that when they buy at Sotheby’s, they are convinced that their work has a secondary market life-it’s just a one-off. No. ”By securing a secondary market, buyers can resell their work in the future.

With the artist’s market knowledge, Sotheby’s says it will apply its own in-house expertise. After all, most NFTs are summarized in artwork, where the auction house is a very comfortable area.

“We use our knowledge of art history and connections within the Collector’s Museum to really understand who the next artists may be important in the NFT space,” he explained. ..

Golden Bowling Ape

This boring ape is just one of the NFTs recently auctioned at Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s


Different customers

In addition to the new experimental landscape, a whole new set of clients will be introduced.

Iles sympathizes with the new young audience, and Bouhanna states that the bidders for the Natively Digital sale in June consist of about 30% of existing clients and 70% of new clients. Still, he says, the number of new clients is “quite” and “continuously growing.”

Bouhanna adds that Sotheby’s has been very successful in transforming traditional art collectors into NFTs by providing educational content on the media.

“In fact, some of our top clients have passed the test of time and believe that they are a real innovation in the history of art, so they are starting to enter this market very aggressively. “He said.

On the other hand, some traditional art collectors don’t have to be convinced about NFTs.

Collectors of contemporary art, especially those dealing with conceptual artists such as Daniel Buren and Sol LeWitt, have already received a genuine certificate at the time of purchase. That’s why NFT is the same concept as its certificate, just a digital version, and that’s why there’s really no problem buying non-substitutable and non-physical pieces, Bouhanna explains.

“The concept of doing non-essential work isn’t really a barrier for some clients,” he explained. “Then they become confident in the cryptographic aspects of it.”

According to Iles, NFT collectors have the same intent as traditional art lovers.

“The main concern is in the art itself-history, story, history, artist, and everything that art represents,” he said. “Like any other work of art, collectors probably have an investment perspective, but I don’t think it’s any different from the wider collection world.”

NFT stays here

Bouhanna points out the resilience of existing NFT collectors and the entry of traditional clients such as mutual funds as evidence that the market is not a “bubble”. Collectors have learned a lot from the past few months as the NFT market circulates peaks and dips. “I’ve become much more selective about what I buy,” he said.

He sees a lot of potential in this space, especially with the rise of conversations surrounding the Metaverse. He says the younger generation is particularly interested in collecting game items.

Bouhanna predicts that both NFTs with a strong community and generative artwork such as the “Fidenza” collection will continue to be very important for the future of NFT art. He believes that the continued success of generative artwork is due to its longevity.

“This is a very well-established art movement that has existed since the 1960s. These generative artists were always blocked and couldn’t sell their work because they were computer-based,” he explained. “But now they are finally able to actually sell them in their original condition.”

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