Sotheby’s, is one of the world’s oldest and most trusted auction houses for art. Established in 1744, the Sotheby brand has a long standing reputation within the physical art world, and are now turning their attention to the rapidly growing digital art scene. For many in the crypto art world of non-fungible tokens, there is a mixed sense that these large legacy art establishments are at odds with the new NFT renaissance. The technology that underpins non-fungible tokens, removes the need for trusted third parties, like auction houses to facilitate the sale of digital art.
With Christie’s recent Cryptopunk NFT auction going for over $16.9 million dollars and Beeple’s $69 million auction Sotheby’s is throwing their hat into the digital NFT ring, despite the criticisms that crypto twitter has lobbied at Christies and how they handled the latest NFT auction.
Sotheby’s is attempting to bridge the gap between the old world and the new one, in a way that is inclusive of the NFT community.
How NFT artists can participate
From now until May 20th 2021 at 12:00 pm ET they are accepting nominations from the community for inclusion into the Natively Digital Online Auction. This curated NFT sale will take place from June 3-10 2021 as an online auction.
The official twitter post and rules can be seen here below.
From now until May 20 at 12:00pm ET, nominate your favorite artist (or yourself!)
1. Reply to this tweet and tag the artist
2. Link or attach one of your favorite artworks from them
3. Follow Sotheby’s
4. Use the hashtag #NativelyDigital
— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) May 18, 2021
The collection of artists already being showcased includes some of the earliest NFTs that predate even the Ethereum blockchain, alongside newer works that demonstrate the more advanced technical innovations enabled by NFTs.
Robert Alice, a London based artist and trailblazer in the crypto art and NFT space is co-curating this collection along with other partners spanning the art and technology ecosystem.
Some notable partners in this collection include the non profit Sevens Foundation, which is dedicated to elevating artists.
The Mint Foundation, which helps international creators mint their first digital art NFTs and has already had over 33 Ether donated to provide gas fees for artists.
The Regen Network that is working to align economics with ecology, to reverse climate change.
Who are the artist?
The lots will include Larva Labs Cryptopunk 7523, works from Kevin Mccoy, Rhea Myers, Art blocks, Pak, Robert Alice, Ryoji Ikeda, Simon Denny, Anna Ridler, Mario Kingemann, LaJune McMillan, Sarah Zucker, Lethabo Huma, Serwah Attafuah, FVCKRENDER, Oseanworld, Xcopy, Mad Dog Jones, Ikaro Cavalcante, Brendan Dawes, Casey Reas, Sara Ludy, Addie Wagenknecht, Terrao, Matt Kane, Don Diablo and several others to be announced soon.
If you are reading this before May 20th 2021, then you too, could possibly be included.
Be sure to check out the official rules posted on Twitter that are embedded at the top of this article.
Looking to the Future
Needless to say there are some very well known names and prolific creators taking part in this Digital Native NFT Sotheby’s collection. It will be exciting to see who else from the community gets nominated to join, as there is already a flurry of interesting names being mentioned all over Twitter.
Taking into account the current volatility of the crypto markets, time will tell how well Sotheby’s will execute this online auction in terms of total sales. The real aspect to watch is, how well the old art establishment can build this new digital bridge into the NFT and crypto art world. Soethebys will be sure to draw mainstream media attention and lend additional credibility to digital art and NFTs in general, for the physical art collector community.
Sotheby’s CEO, Charles Stewart was asked about the future of the art market and non-fungible token technology stating “This potentially has implications for physical art as well as digital art.” Many in the NFT and blockchain community have been saying this for years now, and it must feel like validation for the pioneers who have been blazing the non-fungible trail.
Sotheby’s NFT auction, will inevitably lead to further mainstream adoption and growth for this rapidly evolving and promising technology.