Mike Winkelmann

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Michael Winkelmann

(1981-06-20) June 20, 1981 (age 40)
Other namesBeeple
OccupationDigital artist
Years active2010–present
Notable work
"Everydays", Everydays: the First 5000 Days

Michael Joseph Winkelmann (born 20 June 1981), known professionally as Beeple, is an American digital artist, graphic designer, and animator known for selling NFTs.[1] In his art, he uses various mediums to create comical, phantasmagoric works that make political and social commentary while using pop culture figures as references. British auction house Christie's has called him "A visionary digital artist at the forefront of NFTs".[2] Beeple was first introduced to NFTs in October 2020 and credits Pak for providing his first "primer" on selling NFTs.[3][4] The NFT associated with Everydays: the First 5000 Days, a collage of images from his "Everydays" series, was sold on March 12, 2021 for $69 million in cryptocurrency to an investor in NFTs.[5][6] It is the first purely non-fungible token to be sold by Christie's. The auction house had previously sold Block 21, an NFT with accompanying physical painting for approximately $130,000 in October 2020.[7]

Early life[edit]

Winkelmann was born in 20 June 1981.[8] He grew up in North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. His father worked as an electrical engineer, and his mother worked at a senior center. Winkelmann graduated from Purdue University in 2003 majoring in computer science.[9]

Art career[edit]


An artwork from the "Everydays" collection, from June 2016

Winkelmann started "Everydays", which involved creating a piece of art every day, on May 1, 2007. This project is ongoing and has spanned more than 5,000 consecutive days of digital art creation. Winkelmann has discussed completing a piece of art even on days when it was inconvenient, like on his wedding day and the day of his children's births.[10] The project was inspired by Tom Judd, who did a drawing every day for a year. Winkelmann thought it was a beneficial way to sharpen his drawing skills.[11] In the following years, he focused on one skill or medium per year, including Adobe Illustrator in 2012 and Cinema 4D in 2015.[12] Winkelmann's works often depict dystopian futures.[13] Frequently, he uses recognizable figures from popular culture or politics to satirize current events.[13][14]

Some of Winkelmann's works were incorporated into Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear collection.[9]

NFT sales[edit]

In February 2021, Winkelmann started selling non-fungible tokens, digital tokens associated with works of art whose ownership is verified by a blockchain.[15][16] The first two Beeple NFTs were sold at an auction at ETHDenver,[16][17][18] and more were sold on Nifty Gateway in November 2020.[19] One of these NFTs, Crossroad, would change into one of two animations depending on the victor of the 2020 United States presidential election; it was sold for $66,666.66 and resold for $6.7 million in February 2021.[20][21]

The NFT associated with Everydays: the First 5000 Days, a collage of images from the "Everydays" series, was put up for auction at Christie's on February 25 and sold for $69,400,000[22] on March 11, 2021. This was the first NFT to be sold by a legacy auction house, and is the first sale at Christie's that could be paid in Ether.[14][23] In March 2021 Beeple called NFTs an "irrational exuberance bubble".[24]

On 9 November 2021, one of Beeple's artworks (HUMAN ONE) was sold at Christie's for $28,958,000 to collector Ryan Zurrer. The artwork is a 7-foot-high sculpture; a generative work of art, a dynamically changing hybrid sculpture, both physically and digitally. Beeple described this artwork as "the first portrait of a human born in the metaverse."[25]

Personal life[edit]

Winkelmann is based in North Charleston, South Carolina, having moved from Wisconsin in 2017.[26] He is married and has two children.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Small, Zachary (March 4, 2022). "This Time, Beeple Is Trying His Hand at Artwork for Walls". The New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2022. The digital artist known for NFTs is showing paintings and prints IRL at a Manhattan gallery.
  2. ^ "Beeple's masterwork: the first purely digital artwork offered at Christie's". Christie's. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  3. ^ "Beeple gets real | Christie's". www.christies.com. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  4. ^ @beeple (October 15, 2021). "massive thank you to the amazing @muratpak for patiently answering all my noob questions that day, you helped chang…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS". Christie's. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  6. ^ Reyburn, Scott (March 12, 2021). "The $69 Million Beeple NFT Was Bought With Cryptocurrency". The New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  7. ^ "NFTs: 'Block 21' Sells for Over $130K at Christie's". Crowdfund Insider. October 12, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  8. ^ "EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS". Christie's. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Rapkin, Mickey (February 17, 2021). "'Beeple Mania': How Mike Winkelmann Makes Millions Selling Pixels". Esquire. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  10. ^ "A CGI Master Made a New Artwork Every Day for 11 Years. Here Are The Results". www.vice.com. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  11. ^ Baldegg, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von (October 7, 2011). "Creativity Is Hustle: Make Something Every Day". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  12. ^ Miller, Meg (August 27, 2015). "This Illustrator Has Created A Picture A Day For The Last Eight Years". Fast Company. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  13. ^ a b White, Avery (January 3, 2020). "Beeple on creating a zombie Mark Zuckerberg and flesh-eating Baby Yoda to examine the times". The Verge. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Thaddeus-Johns, Josie (February 24, 2021). "Beeple Brings Crypto to Christie's". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "Christie's Auction House Will Now Accept Cryptocurrency". Bloomberg.com. February 18, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  16. ^ a b "NFTs in IRL: the rise of digital art galleries in physical spaces". The Art Newspaper. April 23, 2021.
  17. ^ "SUPER EXTRACTION - ETHDenver 2020 Art Gallery Auction".
  18. ^ "COIN ZERO - ETHDenver 2020 Art Gallery Auction".
  19. ^ Mattei, Shanti Escalante-De (October 4, 2021). "NFT Platform Nifty Gateway, Collector Caught in Legal Battle Over Beeple Auction". ARTnews.com. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  20. ^ Howcroft, Elizabeth; Carvalho, Ritvik (March 1, 2021). "How a 10-second video clip sold for $6.6 million". Reuters. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  21. ^ Solomon, Tessa (February 25, 2021). "Beeple NFT Artwork Sells for $6.6 M. Ahead of Viral Christie's Auction". ARTnews. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  22. ^ "How NFTs could be the future standard for investing and trading". forkast.news. August 17, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  23. ^ Reyburn, Scott (March 11, 2021). "JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as 'NFT Mania' Gathers Pace". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  24. ^ "NFT MILLIONAIRE BEEPLE SAYS CRYPTO ART IS BUBBLE AND WILL 'ABSOLUTELY GO TO ZERO'". The Independent. March 24, 2021. Archived from the original on May 14, 2022. Retrieved January 5, 2022.(subscription required)
  25. ^ "Beeple's 'Human One' Sculpture and NFT Sells for Nearly $29 Million". sothebys.com.
  26. ^ Oyer, Kalyn (February 25, 2021). "Charleston artist Beeple changing digital landscape, made $3.5M in 1 weekend". Post and Courier. Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2021.

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