Sotheby’s Breaks Records Digital Art Sales Hit $35M In 2023


Sotheby’s, led by Michael Bouhanna, Vice President and Head of Digital Art, marked an exceptional year in the digital art domain, standing as a beacon of success amidst the varying perceptions surrounding non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in 2023.

Bouhanna enthusiastically remarked, “2023 will go down in Sotheby’s history as an exhilarating era for Digital Art.”

This renowned brokerage firm soared to an all-time high in 2023 for digital art sales, notably with Dmitri Cherniak’s masterpiece, Ringers #879 (The Goose), fetching an unprecedented $6.2 million. Bouhanna proudly showcased this milestone on the social media platform X (previously known as Twitter).

Highlighting their active involvement, Bouhanna disclosed that Sotheby’s orchestrated over 25 auctions solely dedicated to digital art or integrated within contemporary art sales. A pivotal moment among these milestones was their debut live auction, drawing a crowd of over 300 attendees and concluding with an impressive $12 million in sales.

Sotheby’s immersion in the digital art landscape spans slightly over two years. Their journey commenced in October 2021 with the announcement of Sotheby’s Metaverse, unveiling a curated NFT collection tailored for digital art aficionados.

Amidst the turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic, NFTs emerged as a lifeline for art auction houses, with Sotheby’s navigating these challenges adeptly. As physical art spaces shuttered, NFTs played a pivotal role in upholding the industry. Furthermore, they acted as a conduit, introducing art to audiences beyond the confines of traditional exposure.

Sotheby’s steadfast commitment to digital art echoes its pioneering spirit in adapting to evolving artistic landscapes. Through strategic initiatives and an unwavering dedication to innovation, the brokerage firm has not only embraced digital art but also redefined the paradigms of the art market.

The traction gained by digital art in 2023 underscores a shift in the perception of art acquisition and consumption. With an increasing integration of technology, Sotheby’s has adeptly navigated these transformative waters, redefining the narrative of art appreciation and acquisition in the digital era.

The exponential growth in digital art sales is a testament to the evolving tastes and preferences of art enthusiasts, underlining the significance of Sotheby’s role as a pioneering force in this dynamic landscape. As the digital art sphere continues to evolve, Sotheby’s remains poised at the forefront, shaping the future trajectory of the art market.