Books & Art

WATCH: As NFTs Gain Ground, a JPEG Is Sold For a Whopping $69.3 Million

Yes. A JPEG.
IMAGE Beeple
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See that? That collage that you can save as a JPEG file on your computer has just been sold for a mind-blowing amount of $69.3 million (about P3.3 billion) at Christie’s.

The artwork, called Everydays – The First 5000 Days, is the latest development in the meteoric rise of NFTs, non-fungible tokens, that are the latest crypto to catch the internet’s attention. “Crypto art” is another term floating around to describe how digital art can be transformed into a wholly digital asset, NFT.

The lucky creator of the piece of art—and now owner of almost $70 million—is Beeple, a self-taught artist whose real name is Mike Winkelmann. Beeple started this giant collage file in 2007, adding something new to the entire piece for every day for 5,000 days, hence the title.

NFTs might be going under the radar among the non-crypto trading populace, but it’s catapulted to almost Bitcoin level in recent weeks, a fact that’s got analysts scratching their heads. The giant JPEG collage is now the third-most expensive work by a living artist ever auctioned off and was sold at a price that tops the works sold by legendary artists like Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali.

It’s broken even more records: Beeple’s work is now the first purely digital NFT-based work of art sold by a major auction house, even one as bougie as Christie’s; it’s the highest price ever sold for a piece of digital art; it’s the highest price for an online-only auction; and it’s the highest overall total for an online-only auction.

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Could this be the great disruptor the art world has been waiting for?

Just last month, a GIF—yes, those things we send in sarcasm or hilarity—was sold for $500,000. If you’ve got meme-making skills, you might want to read our explainer on NFTs if you want to cash in on that Internet money.

 

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About The Author
Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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