The transgender teenager’s crypto art series ranks $ 2.16 million at Christie’s
A transgender teen’s physical artwork and non-fungible tokens fetched $ 2.16 million at auction at Christie’s on Wednesday.
“Hello, i’m Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life” comprised five lots by 18-year-old Victor Langlois aka FEWOCiOUS, a rising star in the increasingly popular – and lucrative – world of NFT art.
An NFT is a blockchain-powered unit of data that authenticates ownership of digital objects – pictures, videos, songs, even tweets.
Each lot represents one year of Langlois’s life between the ages of 14 and 18 when he began to understand his gender identity, moving his transition from Las Vegas to Seattle.
The series includes a physical painting, a video artwork sold exclusively as NFT, and a collection of physical and NFT doodles, drawings, and diary entries from the corresponding year.
Upon request, Langlois will deliver the physical painting to the collector in a custom-made case, Christie’s said in a statement, “an ode to the way he transported his earliest drawings and paintings when he left his past behind for a better future. ”
The series reflects a traumatic time in Langlois’ life amid what he describes as abusive upbringing. After running away from home at the age of 12, he grew up with his grandmother, a single mother from El Salvador with three jobs and four children.
“I think she was struggling so much that she just wanted safety,” he told Christie’s. “To see that I wanted to make art, she said, ‘What? Be a lawyer.’ Which I understand. But it hurt when she said, ‘Your art is ugly and that’s why you can’t do it.’ “
Langlois started drawing art on his iPad, he told Decrypt, because he wasn’t allowed to paint. The first track in âHello, I’m Victorâ is entitled âYear 1, Age 14 – It Hurts to Hideâ.
Last year he started selling digital works on the NFT marketplace, Nifty Gateway: he made $ 25,000 for “The moment I fell in love” Enough in November to fund his move to Seattle, ushering in New Years Eve 2021 with the NFT drop “Over-analyzed again” which made $ 35,000.
Almost two months later, on March 6th, his work is finished “The eternally beautiful” sold for $ 550,000.
Langlois has made almost $ 18 million since he entered digital art less than a year ago. According to Christie’s, he is also the youngest artist whose work has been sold through the legendary auction house.
“He gave everything on this project and exposed his beautiful soul to the world,” Christie’s digital art specialist Noah Davis said in a statement. “I hope his success shines brightly on other young creatives who may be struggling with similar identity and acceptance problems.”
On June 23, the first day of the auction, demand was so great that Christie’s website crashed, Esquire reported. This success is particularly poignant, said Langlois, because too often trans artists are overlooked.
âThank you very much for believing in me and my path. It means the world, âhe said in a tearful Instagram video on Wednesday. “I did my best and was so nervous to come out and tell everyone who I am.”
The seven-figure sale is also a sign of the growing influence of NFTs among auction houses and the art world in general: NFT sales exceeded $ 2 billion in the first quarter of 2021, CNBC reported, with twice as many buyers as sellers.
In March, Christie’s broke a record for digital art with the $ 69 million sale of EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, an NFT from multimedia artist Beeple.
“I think NFTs are the future,” Langlois told Reuters. “When you publish your art and share it digitally with the world, I think it is only the next step to give collectors the opportunity to own it as a digital asset.”
Just as the queer community has been at the forefront of many artistic movements, LGBTQ artists are quick to adopt the NFT model: In April, former YouTuber Chris Crocker turned her infamous Leave Britney Alone video into an NFT that grossed $ 44,000 .
The day before the end of Langlois’ auction, The Queenly NFT, which describes itself as “the first crypto gallery for queer creators,” held its launch party on the former Andy Warhol’s Factory site in Union Square in Manhattan, New York.
The opening collection includes more than 90 pieces – including works by the trans-singer Mila Jam, the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stars Manila Luzon and Bob the Drag Queen, the gay nightlife photographer Wilsonmodels and the lesbian photographer Lola Flash, whose work is currently in the permanent exhibition were recorded in the New York Museum of Modern Art.
Brent Lomas, a New York drag performer also known as Ruby Powers, said he developed Queenly as a place for queer artists to get proper recognition and compensation for their work, with LGBTQ allied nonprofits one for every sale Received donation.
âQueer creators belong in every single room and they deserve to take up space,â Lomas said. âIt is you who create the most explosive and powerful moments with your art. They are the pioneers who show people the world in a new way. ”
This is not just a new kind of art, he added; it’s a new kind of patronage.
“Not every queer artist will have access to a place like Christie’s,” Lomas said. “Art should democratize, and NFTs allow artists to stay in control of their work.”
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