The .ART Art Market Recap: Hamilton Aphrodite, Pak and more.

So little time, so many new things going on in the world of digital art and more... If you want to stay clued in, but don't have the time to trawl through endless content, you've come to the right place. Here is your recap of all the hottest art market news.

Image above: Louis Vuitton

1. ‘Hamilton Aphrodite’ sells for record-setting $24.6 M. at auction

An ancient Roman marble statue dubbed the Hamilton Aphrodite sold for £18.6 Million ($24.6 million) during a single-lot sale at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday. The result for the sculpture was 9 times the £2 million ($2.7 million) low estimate. It set a record for the most ever paid for an ancient marble sculpture, according to the auction house. After 5 bidders competed for the work in a 20 minute-long battle during the live sale at Sotheby’s London headquarters, the work hammered on a final bid of £16 million ($21 million) placed by an Asian collector. The anonymous buyer was bidding on the telephone with Sotheby’s client liaison and European client strategy representative, Nicole Ching.

Image via Sotheby’s

2. HTC, the tech giant behind VR system VIVE, launches NFT platform

VIVE Arts, the division of Taiwanese tech giant HTC trying to improve access to art and culture through digital technology, today announced a new global platform for trading art. Celina Yeh, Executive Director of VIVE Arts, said their platform would be different from others ‘as it brings together our experience in the cultural sector and HTC’s blockchain technology and industry expertise.’ Building on HTC’s success selling virtual reality (VR) headsets, the platform will host all forms of digital art including VR and augmented reality (AR) pieces. Both fiat and crypto currencies will be accepted on the platform.

‘Our aim is to build a complete ecosystem for digital art and we will be able to support creators through the entire process, from developing a digital artwork through to sale,’ Yeh said.

Alphonse Mucha, Dance and Music (1898). Colour Lithographs. Courtesy Mucha Foundation, Prague.

3. Virgil was here: Louis Vuitton’s Art Basel show event becomes a tribute to Virgil Abloh

Louis Vuitton transformed a planned runway show into Virgil Abloh’s memorial. Art Basel in Miami Beach was to be the setting of Louis Vuitton’s latest event, connecting a well to-do clientele with its latest brand offerings as well as announce a new menswear store opening. Instead the show, which had been planned by Virgil Abloh and his team for many weeks, became a tribute and memorial for the designer, who tragically died on November 2th from a secret battle with cancer.

The Business of Fashion reported Louis Vuitton spared no expense and no detail for its Miami Beach event, which is a unique locale and melting pot of wealthy South Americans, many of whom have second homes in the area. A monogrammed Louis Vuitton carpet was put in place to lead the way to the shuttle yachts, as guests were transported by boat.

A light show after the Louis Vuitton runway show that paid tribute to the late designer Virgil Abloh. Credit to Business of Fashion

4. A 12-year-old artist has made $1.6 million with her NFT collection

12-year-old, Nyla Hayes, has made millions by selling her art in the form of NFTs, Business Insider reported. The digital artist who is still not old enough to own her Instagram page has 4,683 followers on the social media handle that is handled by her mom and features her art collection. As Nyla details on her website, she has been drawing since she was four years old. At the age of nine, Nyla began sketching portraits of women from different backgrounds with long necks. Giving them the feature of the Brontosaurus was Nyla’s way of recognizing how strong and powerful, women are.
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5. Mysterious Pak NFT Project Generates $91.8 M. in Sales on Nifty Gateway

This past weekend, the anonymous artist Pak sold 250,000 NFTs for $91.8 million on Nifty Gateway, in what the NFT platform called the “largest ever art sale by a living creator.” Between December 2 and December 4, Nifty Gateway offered Pak’s latest project, titled The Merge, as an open edition with a twist. Each mass token was programmed to combine with others in a collector’s wallet. The more mass one collected, the larger one’s final mass would be. Collectors were further incentivized with bonus mass that increased proportionally with the size of one’s final NFT. By the end of the sale, 26,000 collectors had participated.

Pak Mass Banner. Credit: Nifty Giveaway

Veronica Morozova
Veronica Morozova
Veronica Morozova is a London-based content writer and copyeditor. She has a Master's in Art and Politics from Goldsmiths University, and writes about a range of topics including political and social activism, mental health awareness, Eastern European culture, and more.