A leading Asian digital artist named Cody Choi has slapped a 70,000 ethereum (ETH) price tag on a digital artwork being made available as a non-fungible token (NFT) in a move aimed to point out the idiosyncrasies of the NFT market – which he claims “is a mess.”
Choi, aged 60 and also a renowned contemporary photographer, represented South Korea at the 2017 Vienna Biennale. He is currently exhibiting his work at the Art Basel Hong Kong festival, which concludes this weekend.
And it is here that, per Chosun, he has listed an NFT work of his own named Animal Totem–Stolen Data–Tiger #00 for the staggering price. If he finds a buyer, his work would – at current ethereum prices – fetch over USD 188 million, and shatter the record for the most expensive piece of digital art ever sold.
But Choi stated that he was looking to make a comment on the state of the NFT sector, explaining:
“I wanted to satirize the art world [and its relationship with] NFTs by giving it an absurd price tag.”
Choi stated that digital art has been dragged down by the NFT craze, and bemoaned the fact that the works “that are now called ‘NFT art’” just use “techniques of scanning a real [artwork] and transferring it to a computer,” or alternatively “drawing using digital pens.”
“No matter how you look at [NFT art], it doesn’t make sense as digital art. Even though the sector is such a mess, the amount of money going into keeps on growing.”
And Choi warned that the NFT craze had the potential to hurt the art world in the long term, asking: “If this situation continues to develop, what will the future of young artists be?”
Choi’s comments come weeks after the British painter David Hockney, now 83, dismissed NFTs as the work of “international crooks and swindlers,”
Hockney asked: “What is it that [buyers] are owning? I don’t really know.”
Hockney, speaking on the Waldy and Bendy’s Adventures in Art podcast in April, also took aim at artist Beeple’s record-breaking USD 69 million NFT work Everyday: The First 5000 Days, stating:
“I saw the pictures, but, I mean, it just looked like silly little things.”
In March, the British comedian John Cleese also sought to satirize the NFT world by line-drawing a picture of Brooklyn Bridge and claiming his “alter ego” had a “bridge to sell” to gullible buyers.
The piece eventually sold for just under ETH 18.