Sotheby’s will auction off the world’s first known NFT this week — and is pulling out all the stops as it attempts to give historical weight to the red-hot digital art craze.
Kevin McCoy’s “Quantum” — a simple red, blue and pink image which was created in May 2014 — will be sold alongside 26 other NFTs in an online auction running for one week starting Thursday.
Sotheby’s pulled no rhetorical punches in its description of McCoy’s “Quantum,” drawing comparisons to Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles D’Avignon” and Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” as works that “close chapters on the art histories that came before, while anchoring a new flowering of human creativity.”
NFTs — also known as non-fungible tokens — are one-of-a-kind, verifiable digital assets. They first gained mainstream attention in March when Sotheby’s rival Christie’s sold an NFT by the artist Beeple for an eye-watering $69 million.
Sotheby’s compared the NFT “Quantum,” made in 2014 by Kevin McCoy, to Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles D’Avignon”.Sotheby’s/Handout via Reuters
Other pieces on sale in the Sotheby’s auction include the first NFT by acclaimed Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda and a rare “Alien CryptoPunk” NFT. Buyers will be allowed to pay in fiat currency, as well