The cryptoverse is not enjoying 2022. Bitcoin prices are down 65 percent, NFT trading volume is down 97 percent, and FTX’s collapse has shown the sector to be as financially dubious as it is morally bankrupt.
Hardly an ideal time, one would think, for Christie’s to really get the wheels turning on its specialized NFT operation. However, the auction house remains positive and announces its “Next Wave: The Miami Edit” sale with the fiery optimism of spring 2021. And why not? It has an NFT pedigree. It has assembled some of crypto’s biggest names. It boasts an on-chain auction platform, Christie’s 3.0.
“Despite the cryptocurrency news cycle, there remains a strong interest in digital art,” Nicole Sales Giles, digital art director at Christie’s, told Artnet News. “Collectors want to own the best works of art and Christie’s 3.0 is the place.”
The auction, which runs from November 30 to December 7, will coincide with Miami Art Week, an event that became an IRL bonanza of crypto-celebration last year. The upper lot is Mother Herd a generative project created by Random International and Danil Krivoruchko, which allows the viewer to manipulate a flock of thousands of bird-like figures. Other lots include a shot by Dave Krugman, the American photographer with a penchant for cars; Untitled by nature-focused painter and programmer Zancan; and, appropriately, City of Miamia calm colorful work by Cory Van Lew.
“We’ve assembled a tight-knit group of digital artists who produce very high-quality work and help advance the digital art space,” Sales Giles said. “They are the next generation of digital artists.”
The auction follows the successful debut of Christie’s 3.0 with the sale of work by teenage NFT star Diana Sinclair. All the works sold at 145 percent above the low estimate. It also saw 300 customers connect their crypto wallets to Christie’s 3.0.
Christie’s was an early mainstream supporter of the NFT and crypto art movement. Last year, the auction house hosted Beeple’s $69 million sale Everyday: The first 5000 days and followed up with huge sales from Cryptopunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Initial prices for “Next Wave: The Miami Edit” range from 4 to 80 ETH, but exactly how much it will be worth in fiat currency by the time the auction goes live is anyone’s guess.
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