The auction house is doubling down on crypto art.
- Sotheby’s is hosting a dedicated group auction for NFTs next month.
- Works from Pak, Robert Alice, and the CryptoPunks collection are among the lots.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are units of cryptocurrency that can be sold as proof of ownership for files on the internet. Once a niche curiosity, they’ve evolved into an art world phenomenon over the better part of the past year—NFTs tied to image and video files have sold for tens of millions of dollars at legitimate auction houses.
Christie’s was the first house to see a market here; last October, it sold an NFT tied to a Bitcoin-themed sculpture by the artist collective Robert Alice. Sotheby’s first dipped its toe into NFTs in March, via a partnership with the Winklevoss-owned crypto art marketplace Nifty Gateway. The auction house generated $17 million for NFTs tied to works by Pak.The Natively Digital auction, set for June 3-10 at Sotheby’s New York space, will feature a single Pak NFT, though the exact work has yet to be announced. Also up for auction, in addition to a rare CryptoPunk (from the developer LarvaLabs’ coveted franchise) and a new piece by Robert Alice, is an NFT from Kevin McCoy, who was among the first artists to experiment with crypto and ownership in 2014.Sotheby’s is also letting Twitter choose another NFT artist for the sale, in a contest that began earlier today. “Sotheby’s will accept nominations and personal submissions for NFT artists whose work the community believes should be featured on the global stage,” reads a press release.