Sotheby’s launches NFT Metaverse featuring Paris Hilton and Aoki

By Raffaele Redi

The New York-based auction house Sotheby’s Metaverse will open on 18 October

Dmitri Cherniak Self Portrait #1, 2020 NFT, a swirling multicoloured pattern digital artwork using concentric rings and lines                                 
Dmitri Cherniak Self Portrait #1, 2020 NFT – Photo:

Sotheby’s will open the first non-fungible trade (NFT) platform for collectors of digital art on Monday. Major NFT collectors like VerticalCrypto Art, Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile, Pranksy, 888, j1mmy.eth, Seedphrase and WhaleShark, in addition to DJ and producer Steve Aoki and Paris Hilton, will be contributing to the launch.

The New York-based auction house Sotheby’s Metaverse will open on 18 October, offering a curated selection of NFTs handpicked by the house specialists, which includes works from a list of renowned NFT artists such as Pak, Dmitri Cherniak, Hackatao, Hideki Tsukamoto, 0xDEAFBEEF, Erick SnowFro, XCopy, Bored Ape Yacht Club of Yuga Labs, Larva Labs, Kevin Abosch, WhIsBe, Brendan Dawes, and Serwah Attfuah, as well as a contribution from Time Magazine, among others.

Sotheby’s said it will extend NFT activities into areas such as contemporary art, museums and masterworks, luxury and fashion, sports, music and Entertainment, and science and technology.

Sebastian Fahey, Sotheby’s managing director of EMEA, said: “When Sotheby’s first entered the world of NFTs earlier this year, it was immediately clear that we had so far only scratched the surface of the potential of this new medium, and NFTs.”

“Since then, we have spent months exploring every aspect of the digital art landscape, aligning with some of the most influential minds of the NFT movement to architect a custom marketplace that prioritises curation and customisation,” added Max Moore, co-head of digital art sales and head of contemporary art auctions, Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

Sotheby’s Metaverse is powered by the new platform Mojito optimised for Ethereum and EVM-compatible networks. Bidders can make payments in ETH, BTC, USDC or fiat currencies.

‘Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors’

‘Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors’ will feature 53 works from 19 high-profile NFT collectors, focusing on those who have championed the NFT ecosystem through evangelism and discovery, investment in early projects, emerging artists, and culturally significant artworks.

The second iteration of Sotheby’s first NFT group sale, Natively Digital will serve as Sotheby’s flagship biannual NFT auction and will evolve to include a full suite of marketplace features including primary offerings, dynamic auctions, open editions and capabilities to mint generative artworks, according to the auction house.

The collection is featuring works consigned by two crypto art-focused, decentralised autonomous organizations (DAOs), PleasrDAO and Fingerprints DAO. They will be showcased in an exhibition at Sotheby’s London from 16-20 October.

“Natively Digital 1.2 offers a unique introduction to the most prominent NFT collectors and DAOs who have gathered the most important NFT collections to date. These collectors have elevated this new medium and helped to create a new category for crypto art within the world of digital art,” said Michael Bouhanna, co-head of digital art sales at Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s previous NFTs auctions

Sotheby’s debut NFT sale in April of 2021, ‘The Fungible’ Collection with digital artist Pak, who is going to design bidders’ avatars, brought nearly 3,000 new buyers in an auction that garnered over $17m (£12.4m) in sales.

The landmark sale was followed by Sotheby’s Natively Digital, the first-ever NFT group sale from an auction house, which achieved $17.1m. It set a new auction record for a single CryptoPunk with the landmark sale of CryptoPunk #7523 for $11.8m.

Natively Digital featured many of the world’s most iconic and historic NFTs collections, such as Ape In, which featured 101 Bored Apes from Yuga Lab’s Bored Ape Yacht Club and 101 Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs and recently collectively sold for $26.2m.

Further reading: BAYC NFTs beat Crypto Punks after deal with U2 and Madonna

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