Metakovan from Metapurse bought Beeple’s ‘First 5000 Days’ NFT-backed artwork for nearly $70M
The First 5000 Days is the first purely digital NFT-based artwork sold at a major auction house, the most expensive NFT ever sold, and the third most valuable artwork sold by a living artist.
Yesterday at 10a.m. EST, the hammer came down on what would become a historic auction at Christie’s: the sale of Everydays – The First 5000 Days by Mike Winkelmann (better known as Beeple) for just shy of $70 million (42329.453 ETH).
Today, Christie’s has announced that the work was acquired by Metakovan, the pseudonymous founder and financier of Metapurse, dispelling rumors that Justin Sun had won the auction.
“When you think of high-valued NFTs, this one is going to be pretty hard to beat,” Metakovan said in a statement. “And here’s why—it represents 13 years of everyday work. Techniques are replicable and skill is surpassable, but the only thing you can’t hack digitally is time. This is the crown jewel, the most valuable piece of art for this generation. It is worth $1 billion.”
Twobadour, Steward of Metapurse, added that the historic nature of the event is also cultural.
“A renowned auction house, a contemporary artist; a wholly digital masterpiece that lives on a shared financial platform on the internet, acquired by a person of color,” Twobadour said. “This certainly is history. We also hope it is the future.”
This is not the first time that Metapurse, an impact investment and NFT production studio, has been involved with Beeple. In January, Metapurse announced B.20, in which a body of 2o first-edition Beeple’s artworks were hosted across virtual museums in Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, and Somnium Space; bundled with these spaces; and then tokenized (as eponymous B.20 tokens). Per the announcement, the purpose was to distribute who could own historic art using new decentralized frameworks:
“We want to change the game. We were inspired by the idea of not only being able to own historic artwork, like the Mona Lisa, but also being able to own the museum it was displayed in, and then sharing that ownership and experience with the public. That is the purpose of B.20.”
The First 5000 Days is now the third-most valuable artwork sold by a living artist, following Jeff Koons ($91M) and David Hockney ($90M).
“We are pleased to have brought together two distinct collecting communities—the traditional and the digital—at exactly the right moment for digital artists, for blockchain technology, and for cryptocurrency,” Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti said in a statement. “The possibilities for what comes next in this field are inspiring and we look forward to more collaborative innovations in the near future.”
For more information about Metapurse, visit their official website.
Jesse is a writer, curator, producer, entrepreneur, and public figure in emerging technology. He is Director of Emerging Technology & Insight at Southern New Hampshire