Christie’s sells Andy Warhol’s NFT works: the controversy

    Christie’s sells Andy Warhol’s NFT works: the controversy

    “Andy Warhol: Made Machine”: Christie’s new NFT sale dedicated to the genius of Pop Art

    After the numerous millionaire NFT sales of the past period, Christie’s now presents “Andy Warhol: Machine Made”, a sale of five digital works created by Andy Warhol in the mid-1980s, salvaged from old floppy disks and now auctioned as NFT in New York until May 27.

    The works of art for sale include two self-portraits and images of a banana, a red flower and a can of Campbell’s Soup, some of the most well-known and symbolic subjects of the artist’s production, in a guise never presented before! Warhol had in fact created these works on his personal computer, the Commodore’s Amiga 1000, using ProPaint, a software never released again.

    In fact, in the summer of 1985, Warhol received his first Commodore personal computer from the company, of which he had also become ambassador. For the launch, the company had planned a performance that saw Warhol on the Lincoln Center stage with Blondie singer Debbie Harry, portrayed by the artist with the new ProPaint software. Later the father of Pop Art would have created other digital works – including those presented by Christie’s – to demonstrate his interest in new technologies.

    In 2011 the American artist Cory Arcangel set out in search of these works of which they had been lost and in 2014, thanks to the help of a team of experts from the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club of Pittsburgh and the Frank Ratchye Studio for Creative Inquiry, these works stored in an obsolete file were recovered on a floppy-disk and then shared with the world.

    Ora, quelle cinque immagini sono all’asta con una stima compresa tra i $10.000 e i $16.000 fino al 27 maggio da Christie’s New York, che offre per la prima volta la possibilità di acquisire un NFT di Andy Warhol. Le opere, offerte ad un prezzo molto competitivo, dovrebbero quindi attrarre numerosi collezionisti, sia tradizionali sia Crypto. 

    But by winning the works, what will the lucky collectors receive?

    Each batch consists of a 27 megabyte TIFF file, a format that allows you to maintain a very high image quality, especially when this is taken from another existing copy.

    The proceeds from the sale will fully benefit the emergency fund of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which contributed to the auction.

    “As a great 20th century visionary who predicted so many universal truths about art, fame, commerce and technology, Warhol is the ideal artist, and NFTs are the best means to reintroduce his digital artwork pioneering, “said Noah Davis, Christie’s specialist for the Post War & Contemporary Art department.

    But the sale, despite the interest of most, aroused the controversy of Golan Levin, new media artist and professor at Carnegie Mellon, according to whom the NFTs sold by Christie’s would not correspond to the original works precisely because they were sold in a better resolution than the one in which they appeared on the monitors of the time.

    A doubt about intellectual property that made Levin indignant to the point of declaring that Christie’s behavior “is embarrassing and insults the people who work in my field”.


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