Sotheby’s latest ‘digital-native’ sale, featuring old-school digital artists, squeaks by its low estimate to fetch $2.3 million

While NFTs dominate the conversation around digital art today, the idea of ​​generative art and earlier digital art projects started popping up decades ago.

Sotheby’s is bringing this story to light with its series of “Natively Digital” sales, the most recent of which lasted a week, ending April 25.

The hybrid sale, which included both physical works and NFTs, appears to have hit its mark, grossing $1.8 million, or $2.3 million with premium included. (The pre-sale estimate was $2.3 million.) The 15 lots sold and the 11 lots offered had no reserve price.

The highest price by far was $882.00, paid for The difference between subtleties and subtle links (2022), an NFT and a giclée by Dmitri Cherniak. But even that was well below its $1 million asking price.

Manolo Gamboa Naon CUDA (2022). Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.

A representative said 69% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s, with more than a third of them under 40. The breakdown of total spend by region was as follows: North America, 40%; Asia, 39%; and Europe, 21 percent.

Other sales included NFT by Argentinian artist and creative coder Manolo Gamboa Naon CUDA (2020), for $352,800, missing its low estimate of $400,000; and Reckless and well-meaning #1 (2022), another double NFT and print offering from Tyler Hobbs, which sold for $327,600, wiping out its low estimate of $300,000.

Beyond Recognition (2022) by IX Shells, aka Itzel Yard, who is widely regarded as the leading female artist in the fields of generative art and NFT, sold, with a print, for $189,000 (below estimate $200,000 to $300,000).

Vera Molnar, <i>1% mess</i>(1976).  Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.” width=”1024″ height=”683″ srcset=” 1-of-disorder-ref.×683.jpg 1024w, -de-disorder-ref.×200.jpg 300w, de-disorder-ref.×33.jpg 50w, -mess-ref. 1500w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/></p>
<p class=Vera Molnar, 1% mess (1976). Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.

“NFTs and the idea of ​​publishing art on the blockchain may be relatively new, but the artistic precedents of computer-generated art date back to at least the 1960s,” the auction house told Reuters. bids in an auction preview.

For example, artist Vera Molnár, who had two works for sale, began creating artwork with plotters and computers as early as 1968. Meanwhile, artist Harold Cohen had taught a computer named Aaron to be painted in 1972.

Molnar’s work 2% disorder in cooperation #01 (2022) sold for $138,600, within its estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. Another work by the artist, 1% mess (1976), sold for $25,200, above the high estimate of $20,000.

In total, rRecords were set for Molnár, Charles Csuri, Roman Verostko, Tyler Hobbs, Manolo Gamboa Noan, Sofia Crespo, Anne Spalter and Iskra Velitchkova.

“Expanding on the curated approach that has defined our series of Natively Digital sales, the latest sale was particularly innovative on several fronts,” said Michael Bouhana, Co-Head of Digital Art at Sotheby’s, “namely the presentation concept NFTs with historical generative artwork to celebrate the evolution of how these early pioneers, like Molnár and Csuri, paved the way for today’s digital art, and to peek a eye on how blockchain technology is being used to reinvent the field.

Most of the artists in the sale were presented for the first time at auction, or their work was presented for the first time in an NFT sale. As a result, Bouhana said, “Many collectors were introduced to these works and artists and experienced generative art for the first time. In doing so, we reached important new milestones and records for a number of artists. , and saw strong interest from digital and traditional art collectors throughout the sale.

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Marilyn M. Davis