In 1973, a Sotheby’s decision to auction 50 contemporary works of abstract and pop art unsettled traditionalists and stoked critics. As it turned out, the auction was a resounding success and became a major inflection point, raising the visibility, marketability, and appreciation of the works of living artists.
Fast forward to today. In April, Sotheby’s sold a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by a digital creator known as Pak for a total of US$16.8 million. By the end of October, its NFT sales totaled more than US$95 million.