How Sotheby’s Sold $17 Million of NFTs in a Bear Market
Michael Bouhanna is the Vice-President, Contemporary Art Specialist, and Head of Digital Art and NFTs at Sotheby’s. In June 2021, he facilitated Sotheby’s first curated NFT auction, Natively Digital, resulting in a total sale of $40 million across three editions. The sale included the first-ever NFT, Quantum by Kevin and Jennifer McCoy, and pieces by Snowfro, Dmitri Cherniak, Pak, Sarah Zucker, Fvckrender, XCOPY, Mad Dog Jones, Justin Aversano, and more. That same year, Bouhanna conceived, launched, and curated Sotheby’s Metaverse — an immersive virtual gathering space for collectors and NFT enthusiasts.
Bouhanna is coming fresh off of the $11 million Grails Part II Sale, featuring works acquired by the now-defunct hedge fund, Three Arrows Capital. Split into two parts and totaling more than $17 million, the auctions included notable results and injected some much-needed optimism into the current bear market.
In this episode, we cover the intersection of the traditional and digital art markets, the backstory of the Grails Part II auction, lessons learned from Natively Digital: Glitch-ism, and more.