Who is Beeple? + Everything About the Digital Artist – NFT Art


Image Courtesy of Instagram.com, @beeple_crap

Beeple has had a lot of commercial success. As a result, he has become a major name within the NFT art community and has brought awareness to the NFT space; our team is interested in what he has done and who he. We decided to create this in depth article as an explanation as to the media attention drawn to this artist. 

Micheal Joseph Winkelmann is an established digital artist who goes by the name Beeple. Beeple works on a variety of digital artwork including VR and short films; recently, he has gained lots of attention from selling ‘Everydays, the First 5000 Days’ as an NFT for $69 million.

He is known for creating artwork depicting current culture while adding a unique vision; lots of his work also display futuristic ideas. Many pieces of his play with light and sound which is where the name Beeple came from; Beeples are toys that giggle in reaction to light, such as when the toy’s eyes are covered. 

Beeple taught himself graphic design from videos – he went to school as a computer science major. He started to enjoy commercial success after working on concert visuals for numerous big name artists like Justin Bieber, One Direction, Nicki Minaj, and more. It took time for Beeple to become established within the crypto art community. His success started when he began selling NFTs on Nifty Gateway (an NFT marketplace). For more information on NFTs; read our in depth guide that will make you an expert.

What was so Special About Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days? 

Image Courtesy of Beeple’s website

There was a lot of inspiration and effort behind the 21069 x 21069 pixels piece. The artwork can be viewed by you; our team is going to explain exactly why it sold for an astonishing amount of money.

‘Everydays: the First 5000 Days’ began on May 1, 2007 and is a collection of digital images created for 5,000 consecutive days by Beeple. It is considered an important part of digital art history as it established the record for digital art sales. As the largest digital art sale, it may have changed how art is sold forever.

Since it was sold as an NFT, there was only one official owner who maintains possession of the work. While others can go online and see the JPG file, they are not the owner of record. Many NFTs are resold at prices much higher than they were originally purchased; pieces that enjoy market demand, will increase in price. This new way of selling digital assets is widely available as anyone with an internet connection can purchase it. ‘Everydays: the First 5000 Days’ was a huge step in raising awareness as to the roles NFTs play in monetizing digital art.

Who Inspired Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days

Image courtesy of 123RF.com, Photographer: Iryna Koliadzynska

Beeple was inspired by Tom Judd, an artist who works in a variety of mediums such as painting, collages, photography, and major public art pieces like the Independence Hall Subway station in Philadelphia. The real inspiration came from Judd creating a new piece of art everyday for a year straight.  

Who Purchased the Beeple Piece?

The logistics of the actual auction were unique. The piece was auctioned off at Christie’s auction house and took place online. The auction opened for two weeks with the starting price of $100. The price increase took place during the final moments of the auction. The demand for the piece was high; there were a total of 180 bids within the final hour. With only a few seconds remaining, the NFT was to be sold for under $30 million. Due to the bidding activity at the end of the auction, it was extended for an additional two minutes; this allowed for the price to shoot up to $69.3 million after fees. 

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The purchaser of the piece is a successful crypto investor and is well known within the crypto investing community. 

Everydays, the First 5000 Days’ was purchased by Vignesh Sundaresan, an NFT collector that goes by the name ‘MetaKovan’. He is the co-founder of Bit Access (Bitcoin ATM Project) and currently the CEO of Portkey Technologies (an IT Consulting & Services firm) who describes himself as a crypto loving Indian immigrant who lives in Singapore. 

Vignesh Sundaresan began investing into cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2013 and is considered an Ethereum whale (a person who owns a lot of Ethereum). He is known for making large NFT art bids; recently, he bid $777,777 on a separate Beeple NFT. 

He is also the co-founder of MetaPurse which is an NFT fund created by himself and Anand Venkateswaran. The fund invests in different digital assets like in-game items, virtual land, and obviously, crypto art. He is a strong believer in crypto and believes that NFTs have the potential to be an asset class. 

The aspect that Vignesh Sundaresan found so appealing and a major reason as to why he decided to purchase the $69.3 million Beeple piece is to be a part of the changing way in which art is sold – it is more decentralized and democratic. He created history by purchasing the most expensive digital art piece and resulted in Beeple becoming an established name within the crypto art scene.

What is Beeple Worth?

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The exact net worth of Beeple is currently unknown however, our team is able to make an educated guess based on pieces of work he has sold which is where the vast majority of his money comes from.

We estimate his current net worth to be around $75 Million. Prior to the sale of ‘Everydays: the First 5000 Days’, it was estimated that Beeple’s net worth was around $4 million however, that auction raised his net worth tremendously. Beeple continues to work within the crypto art world and is becoming an artist with an increasing audience.

This is private information and therefore it is challenging to extract the exact number. We estimate the majority of the money Beeple has made to be coming from the past two years. As NFT art has been taking off, we expect his net worth to continue rising and his name within the NFT world to continue gaining more publicity and popularity. 

What Software Does Beeple Use?

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Beeple uses a variety of software with the main tool being MAXON Cinema 4D however, the established digital artist recently joined the advisory board for OTOY, another software tool he has exercised for numerous years. 

In general, Beeple uses Maxon Cinema 4D (3D design software) for the majority of his work. He also uses OTOY’s OctaneRender (raytracer software) and Adobe Photoshop; these are used to complete smaller portion of his work – often touch ups. Beeple has also been known to use Adobe After Effects and Adobe Illustrator. 

Beeple often uses Adobe Illustrator for completing vector art pieces that he creates daily. The combination of different software allows Beeple to make numerous kinds of digital artwork ranging from detailed images to short, animated movie-like clips. 

His work ranges across a variety of different topics, many of which are abstract loops of futuristic art or funny images related to common culture such as CROSSROAD – short video of a small blue bird landing on Trump and using the clown emoji before flying away with people who unoticingly stroll by. He also makes animated clips like Flying Lotus – “Kills Your Coworkers”; a 3 minute video of a group of robots living among humans and participating in a parade. Shortly after the parade, things go incredibly south for the humans – killer robots slice people in half.

Screenshot of Crossroads by Beeple

Beeples ability to work with a range of creative tools enables him to convey complex concepts via video or digital stills. As a consequence, he should remain a force within the NFT art community for the foreseeable future.

Our team here at NFTexplained.info have covered numerous other digital artist. If you want to learn more about another big name artist within the NFT space, click here to learn about Pak, the anonymous digital artist with growing popularity.

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