A group of 26 NFT artworks from the pseudonymous MaxStealth, a tech entrepreneur and crypto art collector, will be sold at a live auction on Wednesday at Sotheby’s in New York.
The collection has an estimated total between US$2.9 million and US$4.2 million.
The core of the collection consists of seven works acquired by MaxStealth within one week in early October 2020, including works by Pak, XCOPY, Hackatao, RAC,
all of whom are now internationally recognized, especially in the digital space.
Pak’s Conversion Routine, 2020, with a presale estimate between US$350,000 and US$550,000, features cubes that are divided into quarters and repeatedly turn in unison. It’s from Pak’s ongoing series Routine, a conceptual experiment that explores market manipulation and game theory, according to Sotheby’s.
Pak’s NFT project, The Merge, fetched US$91.8 million at Nifty Gateway last December, a record for an artwork sold publicly by a living artist.
Departed, 2018, is one of the very first NFTs by London-based digital artist XCOPY, best known for his neon-colored illustrated GIFs. With an estimated value between US$600,000 and US$800,000, this work is the highest priced work from MaxStealth’s collection.
The Australian-based MaxStealth began his collecting journey in early childhood with stamps. A tech entrepreneur, he was quickly drawn to the world of early crypto art and bought work by pioneering digital artists, according to Sotheby’s.
“As digital art and NFTs have gained momentum over the past several years, few collectors have made a name for themselves like MaxStealth,”
head of NFTs and digital art at Sotheby’s, said in a statement. His collection “speaks to the moment just before NFTs became a worldwide phenomenon, when artists like Beeple and Pak were still at the vanguard of the movement but not yet the figureheads they are today.”
Also on offer is Beeple’s i. Bull Run; ii. Infected; and iii. Into the Ether, one of the 271 editions minted in 2020. This title alludes to both its images of ancient Egyptian sacred bull Apis, and the bull market in cryptocurrencies at the time, Sotheby’s said. It has a presale estimate of between US$70,000 and US$90,000.
Beeple was one of the first digital artists to break into the traditional auction market, with his NFT, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, selling for US$69.3 million in March 2021 at Christie’s in New York.
Online bidding is now open for these works prior to the live event on Wednesday.