Luxury auction house Sotheby’s just made history with its Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale, and it’s already announced the next chapter.
The recent auction, which closed on June 10, collected a total of $17.1 million for works from 27 digital artists, according to a press release. A whopping $11.8 million of that went toward Natively Digital’s crown jewel, “CryptoPunk 7523,” dubbed the “Covid Alien.'
CryptoPunks are a selection of 24x24 pixel-art avatars, each with its own unique features and accessories. Created by Larva Labs, there are only 10,000 Cryptopunks in existence, and the “Crypto Alien” series are the most rare of all.
“CryptoPunk 7523/Covid Alien” is considered to be a rare collectible, one of the most sought-after Alien varieties with blue-green skin and a medical mask. The piece was sold to Shalom Meckenzie, and the seven-figure purchase set a new price record for a single CryptoPunk. Meckenzie is the largest shareholder of DraftKings and is worth $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Sotheby’s now prepares to auction another set of CryptoPunks, this time a rare collection of five physical works signed by co-creator John Watkinson. The collection will be auctioned a standalone sale, with the bidding set to open from June 24 to July 1.
Punk 872 (physical)
Each of the punks on sale this month offer sought-after characteristics like “black lipstick,” “crazy hair,” “luxurious beard,” “hot lipstick,” a “peak spike” and a “police cap.” All the physical punks have been selected from the private collection of Swiss curator and digital art expert Georg Bak.
“In the anti-establishment spirit of the early days of the blockchain movement, the CryptoPunks were conceived as a collection of misfits and non-conformists in an ode to the 1970s London punk scene,” Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Specialist and Head of Sale Michael Bouhanna is quoted in a press release.
“Just as the Punks themselves belong to a movement, so too do those who collect them,” he continues. “The appeal of CryptoPunks has transcended beyond the world of Crypto-enthusiasts, to ‘traditional’ art lovers too. Here, in this sale, we have a group of unique Punks, each defined by their own eccentric characteristics, made even more special by their accompanying prints. This is where the digital artworld meets the traditional.”
Learn more about the Sealed Cryptopunks: Five Punks on Paper auction and stream it live via Sotheby’s website.