Famous art auction house Sotheby’s launches Sotheby’s Metaverse to offer digital collectors a curated NFT collection.
In the world of luxury and art sales, the name Sotheby’s is renowned. Now, Sotheby’s has sought to infuse its core business with a smattering of NFT art in its newly created marketplace. They have collaborated with crypto artists, curators, and collectors to create a collection of blockchain-based art assets on a brand-new platform. The new metaverse will contain 53 works from 19 collectors, including Seedphrase, VerticalCrypto Art, and Hilton Hotels heiress Paris Hilton.
Notable artists featured include Dmitri Cherniak, Hackatao, Eric SnowFro, Board Ape Yacht Club, Kevin Abosch and Brendan Dawes. The metaverse will be accessible at metaverse.sothebys.com, and will run from 18-26 October. Art bidders will need to create a personal profile and receive an avatar created by Pak, a digital artist.
Exciting use cases lie ahead for Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s first entered the NFT world in early 2021, with the works of Pak, which garnered over $17M in sales. Sebastian Fahey, the executive lead on the metaverse project, believed that they had only scratched the surface of the potential of NFTs in April. In June 2021, the auction house sold CryptoPunks #7523 for over $11M. In July, artwork from hip-hop artist Jay-Z’s new album by artist Derrick Adams sold for $139,000. They plan to launch NFT ventures into the areas of contemporary art, luxury, fashion, sports, music.
NFTs have been instrumental in keeping art auctioneers afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic, as many physical locations frequented by art lovers had to close their doors. This stimulated the sphere of digital artwork, as art lovers needed new works to populate the hanging space on their walls. NFTs have also served to expose artwork to audiences that traditional channels have failed to capture.
Sotheby’s and Christie’s relish unique position
Sotheby’s and Christie’s occupy a unique spot at a time where art and blockchain technology meet, and can leverage their expertise and curation in the world of traditional art in the digital space, while still nurturing their traditional physical artwork business. Recently, the British Museum partnered with LaCollection to sell NFTs of digital versions of the works of Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. Sotheby’s and Christie’s are now accepting cryptocurrency as payments.
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