In early 2021, the sale of digital artist Mike Winkelmann’s work “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” by auction house Christie’s triggered a boom in “NFT art”. The collage of images from his “Everydays” series, sold for $69,346,250 on March 11, 2021, making it the third-most expensive artwork by a living artist. It is the first purely non-fungible token to be sold by Christie’s.
Coinciding with this NFT frenzy, art dealer Johann König staged an exhibition with NFTs, but not in his space in Berlin, the former church St. Agnes (by the architects Werner Düttmann and Arno Brandlhuber), but a 3D copy of it (created by German artist Manuel Rossner) in Decentraland, a blockchain-based virtual world. The virtual gallery existed stood on a piece of rented virtual land owned by Shahin Tabassi and existed from March 21 until April 21, 2021.
Curated by Johann König and Anika Meier, the exhibition was called “The Artist is Online. Digital Paintings and Sculptures in a Virtual World” and featured works by the artists Olive Allen, LaTurbo Avedon, Banz & Bowinkel, Ry David Bradley, Damjanski, Maja Djordjevic, Ben Elliot, Rachel de Joode, Keiken, Nik Kosmas, Mario Klingemann, Zach Lieberman, Jonas Lund, Andy Picci, Manuel Rossner, Kenny Schachter, Aaron Scheer, Emma Stern, Anne Vieux, Addie Wagenknecht, Thomas Webb, and John Yuyi.
In this video, we become armchair travelers and head off to Decentraland with a glass of red wine in our left hand and a computer mouse in our right. It’s a silent journey, but beware, don’t turn up the volume or Kenny Schachter will make your ear fall off.
Digital Paintings and Sculptures in a Virtual World. König Galerie Decentraland. Decentraland, Coord. 36.100, April 19, 2021.
–– Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.