Crypto art about gender transition fetches $2.16 million at Christie’s

Christie’s said on Wednesday that a sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and actual artwork by 18-year-old transgender artist FEWOCiOUS earned $2.16 million, the latest example of art collectors’ interest in blockchain-based assets.

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a type of crypto asset that uses blockchain to track the ownership of digital things, including photographs, videos, and text. While anyone can look at the item, only the buyer of an NFT has the legal right to call it their own.

The five lots, which drew more than 20 bidders, represent one year in the life of Seattle-based Langlois, who transitioned from female to male between the ages of 14 and 18.

Langlois is the youngest artist ever to have a Christie’s sale.

Each lot includes a video artwork that is only available in digital form and is sold as an NFT and a collection of doodles, sketches, and journal entries from the same year in both physical and NFT form as a physical-only painting.

In an interview, Langlois remarked, “I feel like trans voices aren’t always heard or acknowledged, so having my platform to say, ‘hey look, this is my life, look at what we’re doing,’ it means the world.”

The sale was the most advanced in a series of initiatives by established auction houses to adopt NFTs, which became popular in early 2021 and have since grown. Langlois, who also owns cryptocurrencies, believes that NFTs are the way of the future.

“I think offering a method for collectors to own it as a digital asset is the next step if you’re posting your art and sharing it with the world digitally,” he added.