Flash news about NFT

[28 May 2021]

Results of the first NFT sale in Europe

It was a first for the “old continent’: on 20 May, the European auction house Millon offered 13 NFTs for prices ranging between 400 and 20,000 euros in Brussels. The sale’s final tally was consistent with the overall estimate of 70,000 euros (approximately $85,000), without any of the major surprises seen earlier in the year at Christie’s, Sotheby’s or Phillips.

Twelve of the thirteen works found buyers, with the most expensive (Lot 8) – The Rebbe by MAIKEUL – fetching $23,000. At least two NFTs were apparently paid in the highly volatile Ether cryptocurrency: OELHAN’s Fire for the equivalent of $6,720, and a work titled $50K No. 246873714 by Tom BADLEY, which sold for just under $2,000.

This closed-door sale attracted 300 registrants from almost every continent and between 50 and 100 bidders, which numerically – according to Millon NFT expert Axel Reynes – is “within the norm” of their “long established traditional sectors”, and was therefore apparently an excellent sign for the future.

Millon’s initial idea was to organize the sale in France, but as French legislation still prohibits the sale of intangible goods, the country’s auction authority, the CVV, encouraged the company to conduct this first European NFT sale in the firm’s Brussels auction room… which also plans to host another sale of NFTs in the autumn, with a greater number of works and, possibly, a greater impact.


Warhol tokenized at Christie’s

For a number of players in the art market, NFTs are a new windfall multiplying sales opportunities. Thanks to the NFT, even major artists no longer with us can be the ‘source’ of new creations, and – if we are going to choose an artist to be ‘tokenized’ – we might as well choose the most popular, the most in-demand and the easiest to sell…

And indeed… Christie’s is currently offering five NFTs online by the king of American Pop Art Andy WARHOL. From 19 to 26 May bidding on this small small selection of works (titled Machine Made) has focused on five .tif formats (4500 x 6000 pixels) extracted from images created by Warhol in 1985 to promote the release of the Commodore Amiga 1000 computer. Warhol used the ProPaint software to create his first digital “paintings”, under the supervision of developers and engineers at Commodore. All of these digital works were unveiled in 2014, during an exhibition at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Warhol’s hometown.

Today, five of these images have resurfaced in the form of NFTs with the agreement of the Andy Warhol Foundation in New York. For Noah Davis, specialist in Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art department, Warhol himself would not have blocked this ‘diversion’ of his work as he so deeply wedded to (and a pioneer of) the art / commerce / technology triumvirate. While critics have given these NFTs a mixed reception, Christie’s is once again a pioneer by dispersing the first NFT “by” Warhol thirty-four years after his death… but only two months after the sale of Beeple’s work for $69 million.

Two days before the end of the sale, the bids ranged for $14,000 to $30,000 on the various NFTs but with a clear preference for a ‘self-portrait’ of the artist. But the auction ended up skyrocketing to reach results of between $250,000 and $1.17 million for the most expensive : the NFT of Campbell’s Soup can.

The lots can be paid in Ethers and some of the proceeds are expected to be directed into the Andy Warhol Foundation grant program, which includes a $2.6 million program introduced last year to support artists affected by the pandemic.


More NFTs to come at Christie’s

Christie’s hasn’t stopped there. It is currently hosting (25 May 10am – 3 Jun 11am (EDT)) a second sale dedicated to NFTs this month. Under the title Proof of sovereignty, the sale is curated by Lady PheOnix, one of the most respected voices in the current cryptographic landscape. The selection covers some twenty artists linked to ‘new medium’ whose works have been recently generated as NFTs especially to be offered for auction

The selection of artists includes a number of unavoidable Contemporaries – including Jenny HOLZER and Nam June PAIK with unique NFTs that should be hotly contested – and a number artists new to the auction market like Gmunk, Auriea Harvey, Joshua Davis and Raf Grassetti.

Final results on 3 June 2021…