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SOTHEBY’S TO PRESENT NATIVELY DIGITAL: A CURATED NFT SALE

Highlighted By: The First NFT Ever Minted, Kevin McCoy’s Quantum

CryptoPunk #7523 by Larva Labs

The Shell Record by Leading Generative Artist Anna Ridler

NEW YORK, 6 May 2021 – Sotheby’s is pleased to announce Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale, representing the first time a major auction house will bring together a group survey of the leading NFT artists to auction. Hosted directly through Sotheby’s online auction platform, Natively Digital will feature some of the most sought after works made throughout the seven-year history of the medium; the curated auction will be highlighted by Kevin McCoy’s Quantum, the first NFT ever minted, the only existing masked “Alien” Cryptopunk by Larva Labs, and The Shell Record by leading generative artist, Anna Ridler. The additional NFT artists and artworks included in the auction will be unveiled in the lead up to the sale, which will be open for bidding from June 3 - 10. 

 Natively Digital marks Sotheby’s second dedicated sale of NFTs, following ‘The Fungible’ Collection with digital artist Pak, which achieved a total of nearly $17 million across a multi-day sale event that attracted more than 3,000 unique buyers. Following the announcement earlier this week that Sotheby’s will accept cryptocurrency via Coinbase as a form of payment for Banksy’s Love is in the Air, buyers will have the option to pay with fiat or cryptocurrency (Bitcoin or Ether). Bidding for all works in Natively Digital will begin at $100, highlighting the spirit of openness central to the crypto community. Co-curated by Sotheby’s and Robert Alice, Natively Digital presents a remarkable collection of early genre-defining artworks alongside the latest conceptual and aesthetic developments in the space. In a first for Sotheby’s, the sale will feature one artist who is nominated by the crypto and digital art communities, to showcase their work on the global stage. More information about the community driven portion of Natively Digital will be revealed in the weeks prior to the sale.

Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Specialist commented: “We are honored to host the first curated NFT auction at Sotheby’s, following the tremendous success of our debut NFT sale with the crypto designer-native artist Pak. Natively Digital will bring to auction a talented, diverse and disruptive collection of artists and digital creators in a celebration of the medium and the various movements forming within the NFT space. From the avant-garde crypto native creators, to the generative, conceptual and the pop / futurist digital artists, the collection showcases some of the most brilliant creators to emerge from the crypto art space, as well as early pioneers of the digital art movement. To spread awareness among a wider audience of crypto native collectors as well as collectors new to the category, we are thrilled to display this collection in not only the physical world in a multi-venue show, but also within the virtual realm via popular decentralized metaverses.”

Sotheby’s will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale to the Sevens Foundation, a nonprofit focused on evangelizing digital artists and empowering young talent to create with new paradigm shifting mediums, such as NFTs. Alongside Sotheby’s efforts, the artists of Natively Digital will donate a portion of their profits to charitable organizations benefitting crypto artists, such as the Mint Fund, a resource for crypto artists outside of the US and EU to offset the costs associated with creating NFT art. Sotheby’s will also engage in a carbon offset study withRegen Network, a blockchain based carbon offset platform, to accurately offset the minting and transaction costs of the sale. 

will donate a portion of their profits to charitable organizations benefitting crypto artists, such as the Mint Fund...” The pre-sale exhibition will be viewable at Sotheby’s headquarters in London, New York and Hong Kong and across the metaverse, making it the largest multi-venue NFT exhibition to date.

KEVIN MCCOY, QUANTUM, 2014
Leading the sale is one of the most historically significant artworks of the NFT movement, Quantum, which was created by Kevin McCoy – one of the leading new media artists of his generation. Universally regarded as the first NFT ever created, the animated Quantum is timestamped 05-03-2014 09:27:34. Reflecting the immutability of the blockchain timestamp, Quantum offers an unrivalled opportunity to acquire the very genesis of the NFT space. In 2014, during a Rhizome conference, McCoy created what he and his collaborator, Anil Dash, called at the time ‘monetized graphics’ – or monegraphs — by codifying provenance into an original digital work using blockchain technology. Quantum was the first work minted in this way. Generatively built entirely by code, Quantum prefigures the explosion of digital creativity through NFTs and will be available as the seminal work in Natively Digital. Kevin McCoy’s work has been widely exhibited in the US and internationally, including the Pompidou Center, the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His work can be seen in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the 21C Museum, and the Speed Museum.








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