Sotheby’s Digital Artwork Auction Nets $1.2 Million in Crypto Sales
Historic auction house Sotheby’s took a modern twist on Wednesday, showcasing works of Vera Molnár, a 99-year-old pioneer artist, in a unique Dutch Auction. This type of auction, a first in Sotheby’s 300-year history, starts with a high asking price that gradually decreases until a buyer steps in. The auction was launched with an opening bid of 20 Ethereum (ETH), equivalent to about $37,000.
In an astonishing turn of events, all of Molnár’s pieces were sold within an hour, each fetching above the auction’s minimum of 1.5 ETH. The total sale amounted to 631 ETH, or $1.2 million. Following the sale, demand for Molnár’s work skyrocketed, with the secondary market trading volume jumping to 457 ETH.
Molnár’s series, ‘Themes and Variations,’ is a collection of 500 generative artworks, which she created with collaborator Martin Grasser. These unique pieces transformed hand-drawn versions of the letters N, F, and T into captivating black-and-white graphics and vibrant color combinations. This fresh perspective on letters through algorithmic transformations offers a compelling intersection of human and machine interaction.
The success of Molnár’s auction not only highlights her long-standing practice with the ‘Machine Imaginaire’ since 1968 but also underscores her significant influence on today’s digital artists. This event further cements Sotheby’s position as a leading platform for selling and collecting top-tier digital artworks in the NFT space since 2021. It also showcases that digital art, via NFTs, is fast becoming accepted in an increasing number of high-end luxury industries, such as the art collecting world.