Bonhams Offers NFTs in Special CryptOGs Sale in Partnership With SuperRare

World's first curated collaboration between a digital art platform and an auction house

Bonhams is to host the world's first curated collaboration between a digital art platform and an auction house, offering for the first time an exclusive sale of NFTs in partnership with SuperRare, the Authentic Digital Art Market. The sale, entitled CryptOGs: The Pioneers of NFT Art, will be the first to highlight unique artworks by the originators – the OGs – of Crypto Art, and will run online from 21-30 June on Bonhams will also accept payment in Ethereum for this auction. The artworks will also be screened at Bonhams HQ in New Bond Street during Contemporary Art Week which concludes with Bonhams' Modern & Contemporary Art sale on 30 June.

Bonhams Head of Digital Art, Nima Sagharchi, commented: "This will be the first-ever auction exploring the originators of the crypto art movement – those who were minting NFTs before they were in the global spotlight. These artists have had a lasting impact on the landscape of digital art and will go down in art history as pioneers in the field. We have chosen SuperRare as a partner for their credibility and longstanding role in the marketplace as one of the original platforms for the promotion of digital art. They are also one of the only platforms focusing solely on unique artworks. Bonhams has a tradition of recontextualising underexamined art movements and, as this is the first time NFTs will be presented in a curated format within a historical appraisal of the movement, this is sure to be an exciting and landmark sale."

SuperRare Art & Cultural Program Director, An Rong, commented: "We decided to go back to the roots of CryptoArt and have picked a theme honouring the originators of the art movement. CryptOGs will celebrate the pioneers and innovators who helped develop CryptoArt and its community from the early years. We would like to use this opportunity to shine a light on how CryptoArt started and bridge CryptoArt to the next chapter of contemporary art history. We are excited to partner with Bonhams, as they understand the importance of contextualizing NFTs from the perspectives of CryptoArt natives, and are keen to establish art historic narratives around CryptoArt as an art movement. We believe this curated auction will form the basis for meaningful conversation and be educational for both the CryptoArt community and the art world at large."

One of the leading lots in the sale will be Proof Of Work - Genesis, by Coldie, (conceived in 2018, minted in 2021), which has an estimate of $70,000-100,000. The work is a revival of one of the artist's very first tokens, the original having been "burnt" in 2019, and is inspired by parallels between the 19th Century Gold Rush in Coldie's native California and the current zeal for crypto mining.

Coldie commented: "Back in the early days of Crypto Art, a small group of forward-thinking digital artists from around the world began to tokenize art. We were all from different walks of life, with unique art styles and stories to share.

"All of us shared a vision of what digital art would become once the rest of the world found us. Until then, we focused on the art, grew a vibrant community, and inspired each other to experiment and push forward the possibilities for digital art.

"This auction of SuperRare OGs is a celebration of the pioneers who helped pave the path for artists who would come after, and for each of us who let our freak flag fly."

One of the other star lots in the sale will be The Death of Cash by XCOPY. The work is a playful take on a theme prevalent in much of the OG's work: the predicted decline of fiat currency. London-based XCOPY was the second-ever artist to mint on the SuperRare platform, and in March 2021 his work Death Dip broke the SuperRare sales record when it sold for 1000 ETH (now circa $2.5 million). The Death of Cash has an estimate of $150,000-200,000 and will be offered at No Reserve.

The sale will also feature the artwork Pauline at the Mall by the French-based digital artist Alotta Money – known for his so-called "nonsense attacks" and visual desecration of well-known old masters and classical artworks. The work has an estimate of $40,000-60,000.

Other participating artists include:

• Matt Kane
• Osinachi
• Sarah Zucker
• Mattia Cuttini
• Miss Al Simpson
• Janne Limited

Coldie is an award-winning mixed media artist based in California.

XCOPY is a London-based artist, exploring death, dystopia, and apathy through distorted visual loops.

Alotta Money is a French cyberdelic digital artist.

Founded in 2017 by John Crain, Charles Crain, and Jonathan Perkins, SuperRare is an online, peer-to-peer marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), most notably Cryptoart, built on the Ethereum blockchain. It was created as a social environment for buying and selling artwork with a goal of reinventing art collecting for the digital age.

17 June 2021


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