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Beeple Building Physical Studio to Bring NFTs Into the Real World

The artist behind the top NFT sale of all time is establishing a South Carolina studio to create and share digital artwork.

3 min read
"Organic Reach" artwork from artist Beeple (cropped). Image: Beeple

In brief

  • Noted NFT artist Beeple is building a digital art studio in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • The space will be used to create and share digital artwork, with aims to expose NFTs to new audiences.

Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann made headlines last year with his record-breaking $69.3 million sale of NFT artwork at a Christie’s auction, and followed that up with a Time magazine cover and “The Tonight Show” appearances. Now he’s aiming to bring the NFT world to even more people by establishing a real-world studio that will host exhibitions.

Today, Beeple shared a video showing the construction of his sizable new studio in Charleston, South Carolina, which appears to be set in an overhauled warehouse. In the video, we see the first steps as workers tear down walls and develop the space within the future Beeple Studios.

In a tweet thread, Beeple wrote that the space will be an “outlet for not just my artwork, but the entire digital art/NFT community,” with plans to host exhibitions and find unique ways to display NFT artwork for real-world patrons to view on-site.

“Coming together and experiencing digital artwork IRL is something that I think will help bring in the next wave of collectors,” he wrote, “and that is precisely what we need to move past this bear market.”

Beeple added that NFT creators need to “find new ways” to attract people who may have heard about NFTs, but don’t fully understand how they work. An NFT is a blockchain token that represents ownership in a unique item, and can be used with things like digital artwork and collectibles, but also real-world items.

“I believe by showing people that this artwork can absolutely be shared and appreciated in real life, not just on our tiny screens,” Beeple wrote, “they will see that this medium is just like any other with the ability to bring beauty, provoke thoughtful discussion, and truly move us.”

He did not share a timeline for opening the studio or hosting events, but said that the video represents the first half of construction and that the second half is already nearly complete.

Beeple first gained notoriety as a digital artist who posted daily artwork, as well as a graphic designer whose concert artwork was used by the likes of Eminem, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber. As the NFT market started expanding in late 2020, Beeple started selling his artwork and quickly broke records in the process.

Momentum grew quickly and peaked when Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days”—a collage containing his previous daily artwork postings—sold for $69.3 million at auction in March 2021. Last November, Beeple followed it up with the sale of “Human One,” a physical/digital hybrid sculpture with an NFT component, for $28.9 million.

Since entering the NFT space, Beeple has emphasized a real-world component with all of his digital sales. “Human One” is set within a holographic terminal with digital artwork that dynamically changes over time. He also partnered with startup Infinite Objects to provide buyers with a dedicated video display for each piece of artwork sold.

Dialectic and Vine Ventures founder Ryan Zurrer, who bought Beeple’s “Human One” last year, called the upcoming Beeple Studios “a weird mix of Warhol's studio & Bell Labs in their respective primes. He composed a wild combination of engineers & creatives, building next-gen art with space-age tooling. It will change the way we think about digital art.”

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