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Crypto-artist Pak’s single grey pixel NFT sold for $1.36 million

The online sale at Sotheby’s accrued a total of $16.8 million

Pak, The Pixel, 2021. Courtesy the artist and Sotheby’s

A Sotheby’s sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by the crypto-artist Pak brought in $16.8 million, including a single pixel artwork which went for $1.36 million.

The sale, titled ‘The Fungible Collection’ – hosted by the NFT platform Niftygateway – took on a non-traditional structure. It included digital cubes which collectors could purchase for $500-$1500 each, receiving a selection of NFTs depending on their number of cubes.

Other limited ediiton NFTs were dished out on the basis of completing certain tasks, including the person who paid the highest amount for an artwork by Pak on the secondary market, and posting the hashtag #PakWasHere to the biggest social media following.

An NFT titled The Pixel – consisting of a single grey pixel – was auctioned for $1.36 milion, after triggering a 90-minute bidding war. Buyer Eric Young tweeted: ‘The Pixel occupied a great deal of my mind the past few days. How will history reflect on this time? How will this piece be remembered? How will I be remembered?’

Max Moore, contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s, told Reuters: ‘These new crypto investors have a very different aesthetic and a very different taste profile than a traditional collector would and so it’s important to provide a mix and a range of collectibles at Sotheby’s to attract a wide variety of audience.’

‘The emergence of NFTs is a tale of late capitalism,’ J.J. Charlesworth wrote recently for ArtReview, in an exploration of the artworld’s love-hate relationship with non-fungible tokens: cryptocurrency, NFTs and visual art have suddenly converged at a moment when wages are dead, in an age when ‘there is no reason for most people to save for a future that seems utterly without promise’.

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