Christie’s Former Co-Chair oversees an Auction

The previous co-chair of the famous auction house will supervise the sale of an animated artwork made by Urs Fischer.

The man who previously auctioned off the most expensive artwork in history, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, for $450.3 million, now auctions his first NFT on his app for fine art collectors, an animation of an egg and a lighter modelled by contemporary artist Urs Fischer

Sometimes called the rainmaker for his wildly successful art auctions, Loïc Gouzer previously served from 2015 to 2018 as the co-chair of Christie’s – the auction house that sold Beeple’s NFT for $69.3 million last month. 

Last 2018, Gouzer left Christie’s and set up Fair Warning, an app to auction fine arts. Launched last summer, the app auctioned a painting by Jean-Michael Basquiat for $10.8 million, setting a record for the biggest in-app purchase.

Now the rainmaker is getting into NFTs – and he brings throngs of traditional art collectors with him. 

Gouzer stated that selling to crypto natives would have excluded fine art collectors.

“There are great minds on both sides, and creative juices could come out of some dialogue between the two.”

And there is a good chance that Gouzer’s first NFT client, Fischer, can make it rain once more: Fischer’s previous work, Untitled (Lamp/Bear), a giant statue of a bear sitting under a lamp, has been sold for $6 million at Christie’s auction in 2011.

CHAOS #1 Human

Fischer’s NFT, titled CHAOS #1 Human, will begin accepting bids on Sunday at 5pm EDT.

The egg and lighter NFT is a shrine to the power of humans, Fischer elaborated. Fire and fertilization of eggs were once purely natural processes, but the humans conquered both: fire fits in our pockets and our eggs come from battery farms.

“The egg is such an absolute and stunning perfection—there are not many like it in nature,” said Fischer.

And because of the scarcity built into NFTs, there is only one of Fischer’s NFT egg/lighter-combination on the blockchain. The bidding for the unique crypto collectible starts at a modest $1,000 and will conclude once Gouzer is satisfied with the price.

“I’m running a little auction house, so of course instinctively I want a high price. But there’s also a part of me that just wants to sell at a price that makes it as democratic as possible,” stated Gouzer. “My right brain wants a big price and my left brain wants a low price so that anyone has a chance of getting a great work.”

If Gouzer’s right brain ends up expelling the poor, Fischer has over 500 NFTs on the way, and each of them are combinations of two everyday objects.

Fischer will sell these NFTs on MakersPlace, the NFT marketplace that Fair Warning partnered with for its NFT sale; MakersPlace mines the NFTs and stores the metadata and assets on  IPFS, a decentralized web hosting network.

And then Fischer will sell an NFT that is combining all 1,000 “everyday” objects in a sale that is similar to Beeple’s EVERYDAYS NFT, which represents around 5,000 artworks, since tokenized, of art drawn on every 5,000 preceding days.

Fischer’s consecutive sales on MakersPlace will be quite different to the Fair Warning sales. And unlike MakersPlace, fair Warning vets new registrations, it means that Gouzer and his team will know the identity of the buyer of the NFT.

“It’s not that we’re being snobs,” said Gouzer. “On the app, we sell works for millions of dollars and we have to know the buyers are.”

The business of selling art has historically faced the problem of money laundering – a concern that is now applied to million dollar-worth NFTs, as warned last month by FATF.

Selling NFTs is not different to Gouzer than selling a traditional artwork, that is why the old rules still apply.

But apart from the hype, something else is appealing to the two men.

For Gouzer and Fischer, NFTs give the exact opposite to what characterizes today’s artwork. The traditional art industry is now dominated by patronage: a few elect artists, few galleries, and a few moneyed patrons, they elaborated.

On the other hand, NFTs open up a decentralized future for art.

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