Renowned auction house Sotheby’s has recently released an overview of its digital art sales this year, totaling almost $35 million. According to Michael Bouhanna, the company’s Vice President and co-head of Digital Art Sales, this year’s performance represents “one of the most exciting years for digital art.”
Recalling the achievements the fine arts auction house made throughout this year, Bouhanna noted that Sotheby’s conducted its first live auction. The event, attended by over 300 people, generated $12 million. Throughout this year, Sotheby’s has hosted more than 25 auctions, specifically dedicated to digital art or incorporating it within their contemporary art sales. In mid-2023, Sotheby’s auctioned NFTs seized from the bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC). One of the digital artworks, Ringers #879 (also called The Goose) by Dmitri Cherniak, raked in $6.2 million, representing a “2023 all-time high price for a digital artwork.”
This year, the fine arts auction house has also debuted the Sotheby’s Gen Art program, an on-chain generative art program that blends the realms of generative art and non-fungibility. Launched with Art Blocks, this program by Sotheby’s will feature two to three generative artists yearly. The debut was accompanied by the rollout of an on-chain long-form generative art project called Themes and Variations by recently deceased computer art pioneer Vera Molnar and artist Martin Grasser.
Other achievements seen by Sotheby’s include ThankYouX’s first solo artist exhibition, Inertia, at Sotheby’s Los Angeles. The fine arts company also delved into Bitcoin Ordinals, auctioning the BitcoinShrooms designed by Shroomtoshi.
Since it plunged into the NFT realm in April 2021, the 279-year-old auction house has positioned itself among the moving forces of the non-fungible culture. Focusing on the company’s mission for 2024, Bouhanna said:
“Next year, our focus will be on supporting creators and enhancing their primary market strategies.”
Sotheby’s 2023 records stand as a testament that despite a downturn in market conditions and other challenges, the NFT industry continues to scale at remarkable heights. Stay tuned for new milestones by Sotheby’s in the year ahead.