LONDON: Christie's is to auction artwork by 18-year-old trans artist FEWOCiOUS in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) it said on Monday, as the world's major auction houses ramp up their sales of NFTs.
An NFT is a form of crypto asset, which records ownership of a digital object such as an image, video or text. While anyone can view the item, only the buyer of an NFT has the official status of being the owner.
FEWOCiOUS - real name Victor Langlois - has five lots going on sale with each one representing a year of his life as he discovered his gender identity between the ages of 14 and 18.
They will be sold at Christie's from June 23-30, in an online auction called "Hello, I'm Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life", which coincides with Pride month.
Each lot consists of a video artwork which exists in digital form only, sold as an NFT, a set of doodles, drawings and journal entries from the corresponding year in both physical and NFT form, as well as a physical-only painting.
FEWOCiOUS, who first started making art aged 13, said digital art was a refuge and escape from his conservative household where he had to hide his true self.
His NFT sales to date have fetched more than US$18 million, Christie's said. He sold his first NFT in 2020 for just US$1,000.
NFT sales gave FEWOCiOUS the funds to move out of his childhood home in Las Vegas, he said. He now lives in Seattle.
"I'm putting my heart out there so I'm just happy that someone is seeing it," he said.
"I hope that other trans kids or adults can see this and be like, wow, that's another person who did something cool – because I remember being little and seeing trans people succeed and feeling so seen and validated."
NFTs exploded in popularity at the start of 2021. An NFT fetched US$69.3 million at a Christie's auction in March, in what was the first ever sale by a major auction house of an artwork which does not exist in physical form.
Since then, Christie's and fellow auction house Sotheby's have run multiple NFT sales.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)