Beeple’s ‘HUMAN ONE’ NFT Sells for $29 Million at Christie’s
The 21st Century Evening Sale saw breakthrough results for a number of artists, including Peter Doig and Hilary Pecis.
Beeple, HUMAN ONE (2021). Kinetic video sculpture — four video screens (16k resolution), polished aluminium metal, mahogany wood frame, dual media servers; endless video with corresponding dynamic NFT. 220.1 x 121.9 x 121.9 cm. Sold for $28,985,000 in 21st Century Evening Sale on 9 November 2021 at Christie's in New York. Courtesy Christie's.
Beeple stole the show at Christie's 21st Century Evening Sale in New York last night.
His animated digital illustration HUMAN ONE (2021), an NFT presented in a 3D digital lightbox made of four LED screens, sold for just under US $29 million including buyers' fees.
'Still in absolute disbelief of reality,' the artist tweeted.
The work is the second most expensive NFT ever, after Beeple's Everydays: the First 5,000 Days (2021), which sold at Christie's for US $69 million in March.
HUMAN ONE was acquired by Swiss entrepreneur Ryan Zurrer.
'Secured the ONE. Thank you @beeple for the visionary innovation, amazing new energy and hilarious positive vibes that you've brought to both crypto and art,' Zurrer wrote on Twitter.
Other NFTs that sold at Christie's last night include Urs Fischer's Chaos #73 Consumer, Chaos #74 Bliss, and Chaos #75 Denominator, all from 2021, which together brought in $225,000, while Arch Hades, Andrés Reisinger, and RAC's Arcadia (2021) sold for $525,000.
Returning to meatspace, the biggest earners in Christie's 21st Century Evening Sale were actually made in the 20th century.
The top lot of the night was Jean-Michel Basquiat's The Guilt of Gold Teeth (1982), which was bought for $40 million, at the very bottom of its pre-sale estimate of $40 million to $80 million. The painting, which stretches over four metres in width, depicts Baron Samedi, leader of the Haitian spirits that embody fertility and death.
Basquiat's Flash in Naples, which depicts the speedy comic book hero, eclipsed its high estimate to bring in $19,825,000 with fees.
Peter Doig's Swamped (1990) sold for $39,862,500. The work is based on a still from the horror movie Friday the 13th (1980). The result left his previous record of $28.8 million, set at Phillips in 2017, in the dust.
Doig was one of ten artists who set auction records at the auction. The others were Xinyi Cheng, Nicolas Party, Issy Wood, Stanley Whitney, Jacqueline Humphries, Barbara Kruger, Rashid Johnson, Kenny Scharf, and Hilary Pecis.
The painting by Pecis, Upstairs Interior (2019), sold to a collector in Asia for $870,000, more than ten times its high estimate.
All of the works in the 21st Century Evening Sale sold, though most fell within pre-sale estimate ranges. Altogether, the auction fetched almost $220 million.
Christie's New York auctions continue Thursday 11 November with The Cox Collection: The Story of Impressionism and the 20th Century Evening Sale, and on Friday 12 November with the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale. —[O]