Skip to main content

Beeple's "Human One" Sculpture And NFT Sells For $29M

Artist Michael Winkelmann was one of the first to set off the NFT craze currently shaking the art and investing worlds.

"Human One," a 3-D sculpture of an astronaut by NFT artist Beeple, just sold at auction for just shy of $29 million.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are unique pieces of data stored on the blockchain that are now commonly used to obtain ownership of art or video.

The seven-foot statue was the first physical work made by artist Michael Winkelmann after selling the NFT for "Everydays: The First 5,000 Days" for $69.3 million back in March, Christie's Auction House announced in a press release. 

This time, an online buyer in Switzerland placed the a bid of $25 million on the work that is at once a 3-D sculpture and a combination of digital images accessed through the Ethereum blockchain. The total sales price totaled $28.985 million.

The statue is made up of LED screens that come together on a rotating base to display the image of an astronaut walking through different backgrounds. As reported by Barron's, Winkelmann plans to regularly edit the video that is displayed on the screens. 

The artist pulls the images used in his work from a virtual data pool of one-minute video clips and calls "Human One" the "first portrait of a human born in the metaverse.”

Christie's said that the sale of two of Winkelmann's pieces underscores "the power of NFTs to break into masterpiece pricing." 

Prior to the auction, more than 1,600 people came into the galleries to view the work.

"The work that I'm doing is tied to a digital piece of work that also many times has a physical component," Winkelmann said during TheStreet's "Coffee With Catherine" show it in April. "[...] I think the next wave you're going to see is musicians try to come in and crack the code there."