A few months ago, most of us had no idea what an NFT was, or who Beeple is. But over the past weeks, the art world’s embrace of all things digital went one step further, and a digital non-fungible token made by an artist called Beeple reached almost $70 million at auction. So, who is the man that most people call Beeple? Well my friends, let us introduce you, because you’re going to start seeing a whole lot more of him!
He’s A Record Breaker
Beeple first sprung to mainstream art world attention through his stunning auction result at Christie’s. The single lot online sale of Everydays: The First 5000 days – a work functioning as an NFT – reached $69,346,250, making it the third highest price ever paid for the work of a living artist at auction. Christie’s described the staggering result as a watershed moment in the history of digital art and we couldn’t agree more!
His Actual Name Is Mike Winkelmann
Beeple aka Mike Winkelmann is from Charleston, South Carolina and has worked with a variety of digital media including films, VR looks and AR.
He’s Worked With Justin Bieber
According to the bio on his website, Beeple has worked on concert visuals for Justin Bieber, One Direction, Katy Perry, Nick Minaj, Eminem and many more. Pretty impressive!
He Is One Of The Originators Of The “Everyday” Movement
For over ten years, Beeple has been creating a new picture everyday from start to finish and uploaded it online. He’s never missed a single day! It’s obviously paying off…since the amalgamation of the first 5,000 days was what was auctioned in that Christie’s sale.
He’s Made A Name For Himself In Fashion, Too
Fashion often imitates art, and it appears that Beeple has collaborated in the past with the likes of Nike and Louis Vuitton. The artist collaborated with Nicolas Ghesquiere to help insert futuristic landscapes into the house’s spring/summer 2019 collection. Nine digital illustrations from the Everyday series appeared on 13 pieces on the Paris runway, and after that Christie’s sale, we’re sure those garments are now worth a lot more $$$.
He Thinks Of Himself As A Political Cartoonist
According to an article on the Christie’s website, Beeple explains that he sees himself as a political cartoonist. “Except instead of doing sketches, I’m using the most advanced 3D tools to make comments on current events, almost in real time.” His subjects have included everyone from his wife to the then US Vice President Mike Pence.
He Has A History Of Breaking Records
Prior to the Christie’s sale, Beeple was already a dab hand at having his work sold in digital arenas. Often putting his work up for grabs on blockchain-focused platforms, he also broke a record in 2020, when his work The Complete MF Collection reached $3.5 million in a matter of days via Nifty Gateway.
Text Lizzy Vartanian