Auction House Tastemakers & VeeCon Roundup
Young artists are having their careers made at auction, and what happened at VeeCon
Cultured is a newsletter that gets readers up to speed on the most interesting things going on at the intersection of finance, art, collectibles, NFTs, and more. Cultured is produced by Otis, an alternative investment platform that was recently acquired by Public.com.
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🗞 STORIES OF THE DAY
Rising stars in the art world used to be made at galleries and museums. But increasingly, young artists are coming up for auction and are having their careers made by collectors who are willing to shell out millions above the estimate for hyped-up works.
Artists like Anna Weyant, Amoako Boafo, and Ewa Juszkiewicz have seen their works go for several times higher than the pre-sale estimate. Weyant’s “Summertime” was estimated at $200,000 to $300,000 — it sold for $1.5 million.
Digital dissemination has helped speed up this timeline, though it’s painting (not NFTs) that are seeing a major wave of interest. As artists get their work out there faster, they’re also getting pieces in museums at a rapid pace, which in turn pumps up their value.
Our Take: A strong market has the potential to assert itself.
The art market is chugging along, which has given collectors the confidence to make bold bets on younger artists. While that may change as the market slows down, the current trend toward figural painting suggests that collectors are banding together and sharing a single message: digital art is out, and painting is back.
Character mascots, Web3 hype, Deepak Chopra…there was a lot going on at Gary Vaynerchuk’s VeeCon. The conference, which was the first-ever NFT ticketed event, kicked off last weekend with the goal of evangelizing about digital transformation.
If you wanted access, you had to buy into Gary’s VeeFriends NFT collection. Each of the 10,000-ish tokens gives users access to three years of conferences. The lucky owners got to see a host of celebrity presenters, including Snoop Dogg and Spike Lee.
VeeCon’s optimistic approach to crypto and Web3 played out against a backdrop of a deeply unstable market. That led to a slightly more somber tone at moments, with panelists agreeing that most NFT projects will lose value over the next two years.
Our Take: VeeCon is Gary’s attempt at an IRL crypto community.
So far, most attempts at merging the digital crypto community and the real world have failed miserably (see the Bored Ape dating app below). But VeeCon’s reliance on Vaynerchuk’s existing online social network appears to be paying off. If he can keep the hype going for several more years, it could become the dominant event in the crypto space.
✨ AROUND THE INTERNET
Poor Seth Green. The actor bought a Bored Ape with plans to create a TV show. Hackers had other ideas.
A 2003 Serena Williams signed patch rookie card sold for just over $250,000, setting a new record for a card featuring a female athlete.
One of Shepard Fairey’s iconic “HOPE” portraits of former President Barack Obama sold for $765,000 at Heritage Auctions.
An unburnable version of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” is going up for auction at Sotheby’s.
In a moment that simply could not have been scripted, the Bored Ape dating app has been put on hold…due to a lack of women.