Punk It! Sotheby’s $30m NFT Sale – Yinka Shonibare Takes On Sketch Revamp – Museum Recovery Support Announced By ACE And Lottery Fund

Following the success of Sotheby’s inaugural NFT sales in 2021, which to date have reached $100 million since launching less than a year ago, Sotheby’s announces the first-ever live evening auction dedicated to NFTs, Punk It! a single lot sale of 104 CryptoPunks on February 23. With the historical estimate of $20/30 million, the sale marks the highest value estimate for an NFT or digital art ever offered at auction. It follows Sotheby’s record-setting sale of CryptoPunk #7523 for $11.8 million in June 2021. The evening live auction will also bring together the physical and the digital in an unprecedented showcase for NFT and digital art with a presentation on par with the most significant and high. -Contemporary and Modern art sales profile.

CryptoPunks were launched in 2017 by the Larva Labs studio and are some of the most iconic and valuable NFTs in the world that have become a leading visual symbol of the global NFT movement. Its status in the crypto ecosystem and, more recently, in the world of fine art, has become a signifier of visual identity for its holders. The current group of 104 CryptoPunks that will appear in the auction were acquired together in a single blockchain transaction by the anonymous collector “0x650d”. This independent acquisition connects each of the 104 Punks with the same provenance, a wallet that currently represents over 1% of the entire CryptoPunks collection, and lends unique value to the group as one of the largest Punk collections held. from a single wallet. . The buyer behind 0x650d will continue this convention when all 104 Punks are sold together as a single lot at Sotheby’s.

Punk It! Sotheby’s NFT Offer

For the auction, Sotheby’s will accept cryptocurrencies, with the winning bidder having the option of making final payment in Ether (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), USD Coin (USDC), or fiat currencies. All cryptocurrency transactions are subject to applicable laws and regulations. Sotheby’s auctioneer for sale will also announce live bids from the New York sales floor on cryptocurrency Ether (ETH) alongside US dollars, following the paradigm shift in November when Trolley Hunters and Love Is In The Air were offered ( 2006) by Banksy. with cryptocurrency offers in real time.

Preceding the live auction on February 23, Sotheby’s will host a special live panel discussion on the history of NFTs and CryptoPunks, focusing on how punks have gained mainstream recognition, with notable celebrity collectors such as JAY-Z and Jason Derulo. adopting punks as profile pictures. . The panel will be broadcast live from the Sotheby’s New York sales floor with speakers to be announced at a later date. In addition, an exhibition will be held at Sotheby’s galleries in New York from February 18-23 and a virtual show at Sotheby’s headquarters in Decentraland.

Michael Bouhanna, Co-Director of Digital Art at Sotheby’s, commented: “CryptoPunks is the original PFP series that created the template for other NFT projects that followed, and helped propel NFTs onto the world stage as one of the most recognizable visual styles to date.” have become synonymous with the digital art movement Offering a group of 104 CryptoPunks as a single lot is a monumental occasion and we are pleased to present it as the first nightly auction of its kind Never before has there been a dedicated auction featuring NFTs at this level, and we look forward to inviting the NFT and crypto art community to participate in this special sale.”


Larva Labs released CryptoPunks in 2017 as a series of 10,000 algorithmically generated 24 x 24, 8-bit style avatars, each with their distinct characteristics where no two are exactly alike. CryptoPunks’ signature pixelated style characterized the early aesthetic of NFT and is now symbolic of the meteoric rise of the NFT movement. Furthermore, CryptoPunks reflect the crypto-anarchist philosophy that defined the early punk-inspired culture of Ethereum. At the forefront of digital art, punks are challenging the traditional perspective of art production, as well as creating a whole new audience for collecting art with digital native collectors.

When the experimental CryptoPunks were launched on the Ethereum blockchain nearly five years ago, the collection became one of the first NFT projects on the Ethereum networks. It also inspired the ERC-721 standard used for much of today’s digital art and collectibles. As the premier avatar project in the crypto and NFT community, CryptoPunks is widely regarded as the first PFP (profile picture) collection that popularized the standard for some of the most successful NFT projects to date. CryptoPunks embodies the philosophies of pseudonym, community, and marketability essential to the blockchain ecosystem and represents the elegant simplicity of the technology.

Each of the 10,000 punks has a unique set of attributes, with between 0 and 8 distinctive features, which were attributed by the algorithm that defines their visual style. Among the 10,000 punks, only 8 punks with no attributes have been called ‘Genesis Punks’. At the same time, CryptoPunk #8348 exists as the only one to boast a complete set of eight features: he dons a top hat and classic sunglasses, smokes a cigarette through his buck teeth and a big beard while sporting a earring and a mole.

The current group of 104 CryptoPunks represents the wide variety of traits associated with punks, from Mohawk haircuts to sunglasses, cigarettes, and a range of hats and other accessories that set them apart and give them unique identities. This group of CryptoPunks also shows the diversity embedded in the original algorithm.

Yinka Shonibare takes on the renovation of Sketch

Yinka Shonibare takes on the renovation of the Sketch restaurant

Renowned British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE RA and project architect India Mahdavi transform Sketch’s iconic London venue with new artwork and interiors. Launching on March 3, the Shonibare artist-conceived vision for the Gallery restaurant will be presented with a new bright yellow setting designed by Mahdavi, marking a new chapter defining the culture of Sketch in its 20th year. The acclaimed artist continues Sketch’s longstanding and influential program of restaurant artist collaborations, including Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley and Turner Prize winner Martin Creed.

Shonibare has created 15 new site-specific works in his signature aesthetic that will reinvent Sketch in a powerful celebration of African culture and heritage. Entitled ‘Modern Magic’, the installation will feature five hand-painted masks carved from wood and ten framed quilts reproducing African masks found in Pablo Picasso’s collection. Renowned for her expert use of color, Mahdavi has chosen copper skin for the walls and solar yellow fabrics to complement Sketch’s latest commission.

Using appliqué and embroidery techniques on richly dyed fabrics, Shonibare illuminates the influence of African traditions on European conceptions of our modern world. The masks that line the walls of the Gallery are replicas of those originally used by African peoples to conjure up new powers and kingdoms. The spiritual powers of these objects inspired Western modernist artists. Shonibare turns to this spiritual power to transform Sketch into a ‘third myth’, that is, a magical world in which cultural exchange can take place freely. The African spirit reinvents classic ideals, such as the centaur, when human and animal forms collide to disrupt order and hierarchy.

Shonibare’s new artwork in its Dutch wax batik pattern will gaze upon diners seated inside a brass-hued haven designed by Mahdavi. Sketch founder Mourad Mazouz invited the designer to return to the Gallery and dress it up in a new design as the restaurant bids farewell to its iconic pink aesthetic. The Gallery will be bathed in golden light and will feature new bespoke banquets with a minimalist design in copper tones. These will be alongside unique pieces designed by African artisans at Mahdavi’s invitation, including Senegalese fabrics produced by famed textile designer Aissa Dione. The unique handmade appliques have been designed by Inès Bressand, who works with weavers in Ghana. The ceiling will take on a Mandarine au Lait hue, a color created by India referenced in its famous ‘Flowers’ color range for Mériguet-Carrère, towering over walls clad in Gournay copper wallpaper. Sketch will also exhibit a replica model of the pink gallery that India Mahdavi has specially created to perpetuate the stature of exceptional design.

Yinka Shonibare, CBE RA, commented: “After Matisse showed Picasso’s African art for the first time, he changed the history of modern art. Picasso was interested in appropriating another culture, and I was also appropriating ethnic European art. Cultural appropriation can be a two-way street. This collaboration with Sketch has allowed me to expand my creative process, creating a different environment to find and experience my art in a fun and relaxing environment.”

Punk It!  Sotheby's $20/$30 Million NFT Sale - Yinka Shonibare Takes On Sketch Renovation - Museum Recovery Support Announced By ACE And Lottery Fund

Museum Recovery Support Announced by ACE and Lottery Fund

Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund have announced the launch of their new complementary campaigns Unlocking Collections (Arts Council England) and Dynamic Collections (the Heritage Fund).

Heritage organizations have shown colossal determination and resilience over the past two years, with many seeking new ways to continue to access their collections. These new campaigns aim to continue that momentum by increasing the support available for museums, libraries and archives to develop, reinterpret and manage their collections, helping the organizations and, in the longer term, the communities they serve recover. serving.

Arts Council England supports museums in England, while the Heritage Fund covers collecting organizations across the UK. By working together, Arts Council England and the Heritage Fund plan to help a wide range of collectors’ organizations attract and engage more visitors and truly unlock the potential of the objects they own.

As the Heritage Fund’s Dynamic Collections campaign has a broader reach, the Heritage Fund plans to create partnerships across the UK. Eilish McGuinness, Executive Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said, “Over the past two years, the museum, library and archives sector has worked tirelessly to adapt and innovate to keep the heritage we all love safe while staying engaged and connected to the world. public. . These valuable partnerships across the UK will help us support those who manage collections to plan for recovery and a resilient future.”

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England, said: “I am delighted that as a museum development agency we have been able to work closely with our colleagues at the National Lottery Heritage Fund to launch and deliver these campaigns. The collections we have in organizations across the country are worth seeing, and we hope that by encouraging organizations to apply for funding through Unlocking Collections or Dynamic Collections, we will enable people to engage with and bring a broader range of collections to life. to life in an inclusive and relevant way.

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