Everydays: the First 5000 Days

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Everydays: the First 5000 Days
A collage of a large number of digital images which appears abstract unless zoomed in far enough to see the individual images.
ArtistMike Winkelmann
Completion date21 February 2021 (2021-02-21)
MediumDigital (JPEG)
Dimensions21,069 × 21,069 pixels
OwnerVignesh Sundaresan (MetaKovan)

Everydays: the First 5000 Days is a digital work of art created by Mike Winkelmann, known professionally as Beeple. The work is a collage of 5000 digital images created by Winkelmann for his Everydays series. Its associated non-fungible token (NFT) was sold for $69.3 million at Christie's in 2021, making it first on the List of most expensive non-fungible tokens.[1][2][3][4]

Everydays was purchased by Singapore-based programmer Vignesh Sundaresan, a cryptocurrency investor[5][6] and the founder of the Metapurse NFT project, also known online by his pseudonym MetaKovan.[7] Sundaresan paid for the artwork using 42,329 Ether.[8] Both the buyer Sundaresan and the seller Winkelmann had a vested interest in driving up the price of the work, in order to bring attention to and drive sales for a speculative asset related to twenty other Beeple works, which they called "B20 tokens." The price of these tokens, in which Sundaresan held a majority stake, reached its peak during media coverage of the Everydays auction, and subsequently collapsed.[9] Because of this, some observers have described the auction as a publicity stunt and a scam.[10][11]

Sundaresan receives rights to display the artwork, but does not receive copyright. He has displayed the artwork in a digital museum[12] within "the metaverse", which the public can view through a web browser.[13]

Composition[edit]

One of the 5000 images that comprise the artwork

Winkelmann was inspired by British artist Tom Judd and began the daily project on 1 May 2007.[14] Some of the images involve figures from pop culture, including Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump, and are arranged chronologically.[15] Some of the earlier images are hand drawn and not computer produced.[14]

In an article published to Artnet, art critic Ben Davis asserted that some of the 5,000 images comprising the work revealed various racial, misogynistic, and homophobic stereotypes.[14] Will Gompertz considered Winkelmann a "talented exponent" of the comic book aesthetic, and compared his work to Hieronymus Bosch and Philip Guston. He predicted that the work would be regarded as "either as the moment before the short-lived cryptoart bubble burst, or as the first chapter in a new story of art".[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gompertz, Will (13 March 2021). "Everydays: The First 5000 Days - Will Gompertz reviews Beeple's digital work ★★★☆☆". BBC. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  2. ^ Brown, Abram (11 March 2021). "Beeple NFT Sells For $69.3 Million, Becoming Most-Expensive Ever". Forbes. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  3. ^ Weiner, Chloee (11 March 2021). "Beeple JPG File Sells For $69 Million, Setting Crypto Art Record". NPR. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  4. ^ Reyburn, Scott (11 March 2021). "JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as 'NFT Mania' Gathers Pace". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  5. ^ Villa, Angelica (13 October 2021). "A Collecting Category Emerges: How NFTs Took the Art World By Storm". ARTnews.com. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Mystery buyer of US$69 million digital artwork reveals his identity". CNA. 19 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  7. ^ Davis, Ben (19 March 2021). "The Buyers of the $69 Million Beeple Reveal Their True Identities—and Say the Purchase Was About Taking a Stand for People of Color". Artnet. Retrieved 22 March 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Reyburn, Scott (12 March 2021). "The $69 Million Beeple NFT Was Bought With Cryptocurrency". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  9. ^ Ravenscraft, Eric (March 12, 2022). "NFTs Don't Work the Way You Think They Do". Wired. Retrieved 5 April 2022. The buyer for the $69 million Beeple in March—angel investor Vignesh Sundaresan, also known as Metakovan—also owned 59 percent of the B20 tokens. B20 tokens were initially sold to the public on January 23 at 36 cents per token before hitting a high of $23.62—a 6,461 percent increase—just a couple of days before the two-week-long $69 million Beeple auction reached its end. By the end of May, B20 was back down to trading for under a dollar. As of this writing, the token is trading for 40 cents.
  10. ^ Schneider, Tim. "'This Was a $69 Million Marketing Stunt'". Artnet News. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  11. ^ Ongweso, Edward (February 1, 2022). "The NFT Ecosystem Is a Complete Disaster". Vice.
  12. ^ Mak, Aaron (12 March 2021). "We Now Know Who Paid $69.3 Million for a Digital Artwork—Sort Of". Slate. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  13. ^ "Virtual museum to be built to house Beeple's record-breaking digital work". The Art Newspaper - International art news and events. 13 March 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  14. ^ a b c Davis, Ben (17 March 2021). "I Looked Through All 5,000 Images in Beeple's $69 Million Magnum Opus. What I Found Isn't So Pretty". Artnet. Retrieved 17 March 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ Mak, Aaron (11 March 2021). "How in the World Did a "Digital Artwork" Sell for $69 Million at Christie's?". Slate. Retrieved 24 March 2021.