Christie’s latest NFT auction, PROOF OF SOVEREIGNTY, launched this week celebrating the history of digital art while simultaneously looking to the present and future. Open for bidding online through June 3 and curated by LADY PheOnix, the sale features work from 19 artists—including fashion house Gucci’s first-ever NFT—sold with a succession of metadata, storage, and legal standards newly introduced to the world of NFTs, as put into place by the arts rights management company Monegraph.
“PROOF OF SOVEREIGNTY places the sovereignty and legacy of the artist at the center of the conversation—and has established a new standard for artists, collectors, and institutions with the help of Time-Based Media Specialist, Regina Harsanyi and smart contract partner, Monegraph,” said curator LADY PheOnix. “These practices rarely get implemented outside of museums and academia, but are essential for the long-term preservation and storage of digital art. With Christie’s as the leader in NFTs, they are helping to secure the future for all new media artists.”
With digital artists whose works span a period of 30 years, the start of the sale began with Nam June Paik’s 1974 video work Global Groove. The sale encompasses NFTs from acclaimed names in the contemporary art world like Jenny Holzer and Urs Fisher, as well as artists like LIA, Auriea Harvey, Gerald Laing, Claudia Hart, Josie Bellini, and Lans King.
Inspired by its latest collection “Gucci Aria,” Gucci’s debut NFT takes the form of a digital animation drawing from the fashion film co-directed by the Creative Director Alessandro Michele and the director and photographer Floria Sigismondi. The film focused on the need to flourish after a shadowy season. The sale of the NFT benefits UNICEF USA in support of the COVAX initiative, working to provide global access to COVID-19 vaccination.
More highlights include Ash Thorpe’s convergence between humanity and artificial intelligence titled Degradation; an exploration of the Black American experience by way of 3D gaming and pop culture iconography by Jeron Braxton called Glucose; and Tamiko Thiel’s focus on an environmentally conscious art practice, minted on a proof-of-stake blockchain. The auction also includes NFTs like Marguerite deCourcelle’s puzzles, which have been coded directly into the Polygon blockchain; a conversation between experimental music, film, fashion, photography, and sculpture by KESH; and Lethabo Huma’s soft-hued work focused on human connection.