The world is a grueling place for modern-day artists, as only ten percent of art school graduates are actually able to make a living from their artwork. According to Daniel Eskridge, a software engineer, 90% of artists make less than $100 a year off of their art. However, this might not be the case for artists who create their masterpieces on the blockchain, resulting in what’s more commonly known as cryptoart.
CryptoArt is essentially a digital artwork that stems from the intersection between art and technology. What makes these pieces of art unique is the fact that they are digitally scarce, which inherently drives up their price. Furthermore, they are impossible to replicate, as there are lines of computer code encrypted into the artwork that validates the origin and ownership of the particular artwork. In fact, the New York Times has also commented on the value of these blockchain art pieces, claiming that they are “technically priceless”.
Two weeks ago, the Codex + Rare Live Art Auction at the Ethereal Summit in New York City was an event that put the value of blockchain-inspired art on full display. The event, held by Codex Protocol in partnership with R.A.R.E. Art Labs and ConsenSys, saw the sale of the most expensive CryptoKitty ever at a whopping $140,000 – a new world record.
Record $140,000 CryptoKitty sale going to the great cause of supporting creatives working at the intersection of blockchain and art. Thanks to the bidders, @rareartlabs, @EtherealSummit, @CodexProtocol and our community. Our Kitties couldn’t be more happy. 😻 #EtherealNY pic.twitter.com/T95qU9sqEb
— CryptoKitties (@CryptoKitties) May 13, 2018
The record-breaking CryptoKitty was the “Celestial Cyber Dimension” Kitty and was created by artist Guilherme Twardowski. The collectible was featured on the auction in both its physical and its virtual form; in its physical form, a pixelated image of the CryptoKitty was embedded in a hardware wallet – courtesy of engineer Richard Moore – while the digital version was an adorable-looking purple cat with googly-eyes and an orb around its neck (refer below).
— CryptoKitties (@CryptoKitties) May 12, 2018
“As bids for the Cryptokitty crept above $100,000, a group of attendees wearing shirts that read “ARTISTS DESERVE MORE” cheered and hugged one another. The digital feline sold for $140,000,” WIRED reported.
The CryptoKitty started out with a humble base price but quickly blasted past the $100,000 mark in no time amidst cheers from the audience. Mike Novogratz, head of Galaxy Investment Partners, was initially willing to outbid anyone for the digital cat. However, he was eventually bested by Igor Barinov, who proceeded to purchase the art piece with $140,000 worth of Ether. According to Barinov, the reasons for his outlandish purchase was: “a love of the game, the cat’s physical attributes, the real-life nature of the auction, and the fact that it was going to charity.”
The event raised a total of $190,000, and the proceeds will go to artists and the education of blockchain events, coordinated by the Foundation for Art and Blockchain. The Codex Protocol, overwhelmed by the success of the event, thanked its supporters in a Medium post:
“We’d like to thank again all who made the Live Art Auction a success.”
Featured Image Source: Medium
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