How many artists become millionaires

Beeple: becoming a millionaire with digital art

Beeple is Mike Winkelmann and Mike Winkelmann is Beeple. All of a sudden, the American artist and computer scientist with the funny artist name is at the top of the international art agenda. Within just two weeks he managed to rise to the top three of the most expensive living artists. Before him, only works by the art giants David Hockney and Jeff Koons achieved such high auction prices.

Beeples collage Every days - The First 5000 Days has now been sold for nearly $ 70 million at Christie's. The special thing about it: For the first time, this happened with a digital work of art.

Since this could be copied infinitely often, the buyer receives a "Non-Fungible Token" (NFT) with the original work and is entered in a blockchain - a virtual register, so to speak. So it should stay unique. The new record sale of Beeples Bild is the culmination of the current hype about so-called crypto art.

So. But who is Mike Winkelmann now? The 39-year-old lives in suburban South Carolina with his wife and two children. She is a teacher, he is a graphic designer. As a car he drives a "fucking Toyota Corolla piece of shit," American media quote him. In general, he does not seem averse to vulgar language and self-irony and likes to describe his art as "art crap" or "art shit".

Okay and "kind of blows my ass"

Some of it is okay, others are "kind of blows ass". So extremely annoying, but he's working on it, Beeple writes on his website. There are countless digital drawings, short films and video loops. As a video jockey, he has already designed stage visuals for music acts such as Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. He is known in the pop world, and almost two million users follow him on Instagram.

In addition, he has been producing a digital picture every day since 2007, often comic-surreal scenes, and posts them on the Internet. He has not missed a day so far, there are a total of 5064 individual works. The 70 million dollar collage has now emerged from these. By the way, the auction started with a bid of 100 dollars, after an hour it was already a million.

A lot will change for Beeple alias Mike Winkelmann. For the first time he goes to Disneyland with his family. He can now get rid of the Toyota too. His reaction on Instagram: "holy fuck". (Katharina Rustler, March 12, 2021)