Humanity thrives through art. Ever since prehistoric times, humans have used art as a medium of expression. It is only through cave paintings that we know how early humans lived and died. Art is, arguably, the heartbeat of humanity. Entire eras are defined by the artwork created during the period. With this being the case, it is plain to see that art evolves right alongside us. As humanity grows, so does art. From primitive cave paintings to sculptures printed on 3D printers, technology and art have kept each other alive.
One of the latest revolutions in the art world is, of course, NFT art. The first NFT to ever be minted was way back in 2014. And it was a piece of art. Created by Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash in 2014, Quantum is an octagon-shaped animation that went under the hammer for a whopping $1.47 million at Sotheby’s. Ever since then, NFT art has been revolutionizing the art space, providing artists with innumerable benefits. For one thing, they allow artists to set royalties that go into their wallets every time their creation is sold. They also eliminate middlemen and agencies, ensuring that artists get complete control over their work.
And, of course, as with any work of art, NFT art comes with inherent collectible value. All of these features drive up the value of NFT art in spades, leading to the sale of artwork for mammoth amounts. Here’s a round-up of the six most expensive pieces of NFT art to ever be sold.
Top 6 Most Expensive NFT Art
6. LarvaLabs CryptoPunk #7523
Anyone who has heard of NFTs has inevitably heard of CryptoPunks. This collection boasts several expensive NFTs, two of which are featured in this list. First up is Larvalabs CryptoPunk #7523 sold for a massive $11.75 million USD at a Sotheby’s auction in June 2021. This piece, which belongs to the nine-piece Alien series, is the second-most expensive NFT in the collection.
The art is of a blue-green creature dressed in earrings, a knitted hat, and a medical mask. Israeli entrepreneur, Shalom Mackenzie, was the buyer of this particular NFT.
5. LarvaLabs’ CryptoPunk #5822
It is pretty obvious that CryptoPunks is the name in the NFT art world. Especially since the next NFT on the list also belongs to the CryptoPunk collection. And again, this artwork is another in the Alien series. #5822 sold for $23.7 million USD. This NFT is also one among 333 CryptoPunks in the collection to wear a bandana. The CryptoPunk was bought by Deepak Thapliyal, CEO of Chain.
4. Human One by Beeple
Intriguing name, isn’t it?
It’s hardly a secret that Beeple is one of the most renowned artists in the NFT space. It should not come as a surprise, therefore, that two of his works have found a place in a list of expensive NFT art. What sets the piece apart, and makes it that much more valuable is the fact that it combines digital and physical artwork to create a generative sculpture. Another amazing aspect of this piece is that its display constantly evolves with time and depicts the first human in the Metaverse.
The piece garnered $28.9 million USD at Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale. Although it is owned by Ryan Zurrer, Beeple still has access to his work and creative control over it.
3. Clock NFT by Assange and Park
This is an NFT artwork with a story. Created by anonymous artist Pak, the work depicts a timer that counts the days WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spent in prison. It was initiated as a means to raise funds for his defense at a time when he was facing the possibility of extradition to the US and 175 years in jail. This piece was ultimately sold as part of Pak & Assange’s Censored Collection and featured a dynamic open edition.
The work was purchased by AssangeDAO, an organization that was formed to fight for Assange’s freedom, for $52.7 million
2. Beeple’s Everydays Series: The First 5000 Days
This is one of the most popular NFT collections ever created. Created, again, by Beeple, the series is essentially a collage of 5000 pieces of digital art. Mike Winkelmann, who is Beeple, started a project in 2007 where he would create and publish a new digital artwork every day. The popular NFT collection consists of the first 5000 entries from said series.
Having already gained popularity from the running project, the NFT collection was sold for $69 million USD at Christie’s. The buyer was Vignesh Sundaresan. This sale established Beepls as one of the top three most valuable living artists. For quite a while, this NFT collection was the most expensive NFT artwork. Until it was dethroned by the next piece on the list.
1. The Merge by Pak
Finally, we come to the most expensive NFT art ever sold. Its price? $91 MILLION USD! The most massive NFT sale of all time happened on Nifty Gateway and was created by Pak. So what made this piece so valuable? The answer is this. The Merge was available as an open edition for 3 days. This meant that interested parties could buy tokens which increased in amount. With every new token acquired, the mass grew bigger. In the end, over 28000 collectors bought 266,434 units, making Pak the most expensive living artist anywhere in the world.
Ever since NFTs were introduced, they have been sold for startling amounts, a testament to their increasing value. Even apart from art, NFTs are becoming more valuable in several fields, from gaming to fashion. As utility is being added to the mix, NFTs may become more worth their while, offering something more than collectible value. Artists are already utilizing NFTs as a means of connecting on a deeper level with their fans.
The NFT industry, therefore, may just be the road to the future of trading. So if you are looking for the best NFT project to invest in, now may be as good a time as any.