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Record-breaking multi-million dollar digital art sale in Charleston, SC


Art | Image via Pexels

$69.3 million. That’s the historic price tag on a single piece of digital artwork created by Lowcountry artist Mike Winkelmann, aka Beeple.

The multi-million dollar digital artwork, “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days,” was sold through Christie’s (an art auction house) + ranks as the third-highest price paid for a work by a living artist.

Beeple is a graphic designer from North Charleston, who specializes in digital artwork including short films, virtual reality work, Creative Commons VJ loops + more. He’s even produced concert visuals for artists like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.

The digital file was sold as an NFT – or nonfungible token – a unit of currency that can’t be exchanged for something else. It’s part of an online database referred to as blockchain, which records how cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is sold + bought.

NFTs are measured in digital visual assets, such as artwork, music + even Tweets. The neat part about this is that ownership of tokens can be traced and verified (think what a deed is to a house).

More than 10 years ago, Beeple created a 3D graphic movement where he posted one original image online every single day. The NFT that was recently bought was a digital composite of 5,000 of these images.

NFTs are “digitally disrupting” the art world and essentially changing the game by giving living artists the opportunity to benefit through sales in the digital field. People can essentially purchase the “bar code” to these artworks — a certificate of authentication of sorts.

What’s the future of the NFT? Only time will tell. For now, a South Carolina “crypto artist” holds the title as the NFT innovator when it comes to selling digital artwork, making Charleston no doubt the home for more NFT artists to emerge.

Take a look at the digital masterpiece here.