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Sotheby’s, the renowned auction house, recently hosted the eagerly awaited live auction from the prestigious GRAILS Collection in New York.
This remarkable event, which marked the collection’s first dedicated sale since its announcement in April, achieved a staggering record-breaking result of $10,946,104 million.
Digital Art Auction Shatters Records with $17 Million Sale
Notably, this auction now holds the title of the most valuable live auction of digital art to date. With this milestone, the overall total for the GRAILS Collection has soared to an impressive $17 million, further solidifying its position as a prominent force in the digital art world. The initial group of seven works was sold for $2.5 million in May, and several additional pieces were privately sold last month.
“The buzz around this sale has been palpable from collectors and other members of the community since we first announced GRAILS in April, and today delivered on that excitement and anticipation. The record-setting result of the live auction, in addition to the first tranche of works sold in May, reflects the growing importance of digital art, and in particular generative art, as a critical form of contemporary art. As the sale proved, works of exceptional quality continue to command the attention of serious collectors, with many setting significant new benchmarks for the artists since the peak of the market in 2021. ” – Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s Head of Digital Art & NFTs
Celebrated Artists and Remarkable Achievements
Featuring an exceptional selection of artworks created by renowned artists, spanning the realm of generative art and beyond, the GRAILS Collection auction surpassed expectations by achieving significant new records and setting noteworthy benchmarks.
Among the highlights, the work of Dmitri Cherniak stood out prominently. His masterpiece, Ringers #879 (The Goose), fetched a remarkable $6,215,100 million, establishing a new auction record for the artist and securing its position as the second most valuable generative art piece ever sold. The intense bidding battle between three interested parties culminated in the acquisition of Ringers #879 by the prestigious 6529 NFT Fund.
Highlights from the Auction
Dmitri Cherniak‘s Ringers #879 (The Goose) took centre stage during the auction, selling for a staggering $6,215,100 million. This extraordinary price, well over double the high estimate of $2 – 3 million, not only set a new auction record for Cherniak but also positioned the artwork as the second most valuable generative art piece ever sold.
The Goose is a pivotal creation from Cherniak’s groundbreaking Ringers series, embodying a significant milestone in the post-blockchain generative art era. Today’s sale marks the second-highest price ever achieved for a generative art masterpiece.
In addition to Ringers #879, Cherniak presented five other works in the auction. The sole live animation of the group, The Eternal Pump #9, far exceeded expectations by selling for $228,600, more than doubling its estimated value of $60,000 – $80,000.
Tyler Hobbs’ Fidenza #479 also captured bidders’ attention, ultimately reaching a final price of $622,300, surpassing the estimated range of $120,000 – $180,000. This impressive sale price solidifies Fidenza #479 as one of the highest-valued pieces from the series in 2023. Taking inspiration from the system-based practices of minimalist artists like Sol Lewitt and Agnes Martin, this unique NFT, one of only two black-and-white works from the Fidenza project, holds significant artistic significance.
Five additional works from Hobbs’ Fidenza series found new owners during the auction. Notably, Fidenza #216 achieved an outstanding price of $609,600, once again surpassing its estimated value of $120,000 – $180,000. Overall, the Fidenza collection amassed an impressive total of $2,146,300 million.
The auction also featured Autoglyph #218 by Larva Labs, which achieved a remarkable price of $330,200, positioning it as the second-highest sale price ever recorded for the series at an auction. The Autoglyphs project, exclusively “on-chain” and deeply rooted in an art historical context, has only appeared at auction twice before, adding to its allure and desirability among collectors.
Lastly, a captivating bidding war unfolded for Snowfro’s Chromie Squiggle #1780 (Perfect Spectrum), culminating in a triumphant new auction record for the artist. Surpassing the estimated range of $120,000 – $180,000, the final price settled at an impressive $635,000. Similarly, Chromie Squiggle #9071 surpassed expectations and achieved a price of $30,480 following an intense competition between three bidders present in the auction room.
Sotheby’s GRAILS Collection live auction held in New York stands as an extraordinary testament to the increasing prominence and value of digital art. The record-breaking result of $10,946,104 million, along with the cumulative total of $17 million for the collection, reinforces the growing significance of this art form in the contemporary market. With remarkable achievements and new auction records set by artists such as Dmitri Cherniak, Tyler Hobbs, Larva Labs, and Snowfro, this event will be remembered as a pivotal moment in the history of digital art auctions.