April 6, 2021 9:00am
In March, Sotheby’s announced its plans to collaborate with the anonymous digital artist Pak for a sale this month. Now, the auction house has revealed that Pak will release a new NFT series, “The Fungible Collection,” for a collaboration on April 12 via the digital art platform Nifty Gateway. The event will mark the first time a major auction house has linked up with Nifty Gateway, which in recent months has sold closely watched NFTs by Beeple, Grimes, and others.
“The Fungible Collection” sale, which is set to take place over the course of three days, will include open editions, wherein multiple buyers can purchase minted tokens for the same work at a fixed price of $500. Pak will release six other works in the days leading up to the sale, including two unique works which will be auctioned, in a sale led by Sotheby’s contemporary art specialist Max Moore, who began working with Pak in January on the collaboration.
“The distribution of these works will be performative and deliver an experience Sotheby’s has worked with Pak to design for sale participants,” a Sotheby’s press representative told ARTnews.
In a statement, the artist said, “With this kind of a scale, I expect it to play a major cultural role in telling the narrative of the digital world to the traditional world in terms of the medium definition and value creation.”
The announcement continues the NFT craze spurred by Christie’s sale of a work by cult digital artist Beeple last week for $69.3 million. Since then, Phillips has announced it will sell an NFT by digital artist Mad Dog Jones and blue-chip artists like Damien Hirst and Urs Fischer have said they will offer NFTs for sale.
Such sales have often lent themselves to unusual collaborations between blue-chip artists, major art-market players, and figures from the tech world. Fischer’s work, for example, is being sold by Fair Warning, an app produced by former Christie’s star Loic Gouzer; Pace Gallery, which has nine locations worldwide; and MakersPlace, an online marketplace focused on digital art.
Pak, a cryptic artist whose work often features moving geometric forms, has gained a following in the crypto art world in the last decade. In September, they released a collection of five digital artworks titled “Terminus” on MakersPlace, and in December, they put an untitled collection of works up for sale on Nifty Gateway.
“In the art world there’s been a pivot to digital in almost everything except the art, and now we’re getting there with the art as well,” Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart said. “Beyond the fact that you’ve got a new audience and new aesthetic, this really has the potential to bypass a lot of the traditional gate keepers and vetting processes of the traditional art world.”