Sotheby’s Auction Hot Takes

Eli, Derek, and Amanda are joined by Art Blocks advisor Pixel Pete to talk through the recent Sotheby’s auction, and the $6.2 million sale of The Goose NFT (Ringer #879) from Dmitri Cherniak. PROOF also announced they are opening a physical art space opening in LA this summer. At the end there’s even a full studio tour from renowned artist James Jean. Here’s my most interesting takeaways from the 70 minute show:

Sotheby’s Auction

This week’s big news was the Sotheby’s art auction, which sold one specific Ringers artwork, called The Goose, for whopping 6,2 Million. In the first segment of the show, we get a fascinating look into the history of the artpiece by one of its previous owners, Pixel Pete.

Ringer #879 “The Goose”

The Goose always stood out as a desirable artwork within a larger generative collection Ringers due to its unique graphics and emergent properties unrelated to its rarity. Over time, it became memefied naturally through community bonding. The community around generative art has grown significantly because of stories like his – enthusiasts engaging with creators through platforms like Artblocks.

The Sotheby’s auction also featured other artworks with impressive sale prices such as a perfect spectrum Chromie Squiggle that went for over $600K and Tyler Hobbs’ Fidenza. These high sales demonstrate enthusiasm and indicate there are more than just whales driving interest in digital art.

Web3 Buyers vs. Traditional Art Buyers

The recent sale of The Goose has generated great excitement, but it also raised questions about the fact that the buyer was an existing collector in the NFT ecosystem (Punk 6529) rather than a traditional collector making their first big foray into digital art. But you can also look at this as a positive thing, because it demonstrates the conviction and dedication of collectors like 6529 and those within his fund.

As the new steward of this historically important piece, 6529 has shown immense determination to acquire the artwork dating back to August 2021. The fact that he put all their resources on the line showcases how much they wanted to be responsible for this work’s representation.

We didn’t see an influx of new traditional collectors in this instance. Nevertheless there are encouraging signs pointing towards more institutional adoption happening quietly around us.

Whether or not financial support from traditional sources comes soon doesn’t diminish what we’re witnessing: a collective movement at a global scale where art communities are interconnected like never before.

Physical vs. Digital Ownership

Next followed a discussion about the long-term value of artwork, specifically whether it accrues mostly to a one-of-one signed physical piece vs. the token containing metadata.

To provide context, Pete shares his experience with selling a physical print of “The Goose”. He initially hesitated before ordering the print due to its cost but eventually made the purchase and later sold it to 3AC.

Derek chimes in by saying that he believes artist intent plays a significant role in determining value. The technology allows for various types of artistic expression and interaction with collectors. Some artists may focus on purely digital works while others incorporate physical elements into their pieces.

Amanda adds her perspective as a collector who enjoys living with her collected artwork through prints or other forms like hoodies. She mentions her love for animated NFTs and looks forward to better display options for them in homes.

There isn’t one definitive answer regarding where value accrues over time as it depends on factors such as artist intent and collector preferences. This space offers unique questions without clear-cut answers due to public technology’s neutrality allowing people to interact with it according to their own perspectives and desires.

Breaking Down Power Laws

Wayne asked the panel what the Sotheby’s auction results tell us about the high end and low end of various collections like Ringers, Chrome Squiggles, and CryptoPunks.

Derek explains that within Crypto, there are de-risked collections such as Ringers, Fidenza, Chromie Squiggles, Autoglyphs and CryptoPunks which consistently receive support from collectors. He believes in the concept of power laws where liquidity begets liquidity and attention begets attention.

Pete adds that predicting value is challenging but unique cases like “The Goose” drive other collectors to participate in lower-end markets. Owning one Chromie Squiggle out of 10,000 makes you part of a collective voice lifting up the entire ecosystem.

The conversation turns toward how other artists can enter into these high-value categories. Pete suggests it will take time for newcomers to join the market due to its small size currently. As Art Blocks matures with its Curation Board and tastes evolve towards more conceptual work rather than solely visually appealing pieces on a wall, people may become more open-minded about different types of art.

Pete emphasizes that while adoption will naturally lead to more success for smaller projects and artists entering this space; financial aspects will still create disparities between them all. The panelists agree that being part of defining moments or communities can serve as clear signals if individuals remain open-minded enough when engaging with new ideas or art forms.


The show ends with another episode of Mythics Chronicles, where we get an behind the scenes look at the new NFT collection by PROOF.

Mythics Chronicles Episode 3- Masks with Luke

Plus a tour through the studio of artist James Jean which is definitely worth to watch!

You can watch the full episode below:

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