Visual arts

Meet the Artist Who Just Launched Christie’s New Platform for NFT Sales

Acclaimed visual artist Diana Sinclair’s first solo exhibition serves as the launch pad for Christie’s 3.0, the auction house’s new platform for on-chain NFT sales. Stepsa curated auction of nine NFTs, is currently open for auction until October 11 and on display at Christie’s Galleries in New York until October 5.

Christie’s 3.0 – which allows all transactions, including post-sale processing, to be fully automated and on the blockchain – is a technology first for the industry and represents a significant step forward for auction houses to advance digital art. Equally important, says Lesley Silverman, who runs United Talent Agency’s Web3 division, who signed Sinclair across the board and brokered the deal with Christie’s, is the artist they chose to pitch with.

“For Christie’s, it’s a big step in the right direction, but I think it’s only going to be a step in the right direction if they align themselves with paradigm-shifting artists,” Silverman says. “The artist they have chosen to elevate, in this case Diana, is a real statement. She is a once-in-a-generation artist who is embracing the door that blockchain has opened to digital art at the over the past two years.

Indeed, Sinclair’s work is a far cry from the likes of an animated bored primate. The 18-year-old is passionate about work that explores self-identity and social justice, and her art reflects both a deep curiosity and introspection, as well as a philosophy that is wise beyond its limits. years. It’s a quality that has catapulted her to NFT stardom over the past year.

In June 2021, she becomes one of the youngest digital art curators with the Digital Diaspora, a Juneteenth exhibition and auction celebrating the work of black artists working within the NFT community. Shortly after, a collaboration with Time magazine and a project with Whitney Houston’s estate, for which she created an NFT with never-before-seen video footage of Houston that sold for nearly $1 million.

“It meant a lot to me because of the kind of person Whitney Houston was,” she says. “I was able to sit and talk with his family. They felt very connected to me as a person and an artist, so it was a special relationship that I was able to develop because they felt what I was doing this time around resonated with how Whitney was in her day. It was like this connection between generations with the same core values, I think, as artists and women.

Sinclair describes Steps as an exploration of impermanence, the fluidity of life, and human experience over time – concepts she struggled with for most of her life and which resurfaced as she explored partnership with Christie’s.

“It happened earlier this year when I, again, started to sink into a phase of depression… I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time with my depression and I’ve potentially off the path I should have been on And I decided this time instead of just letting it happen and potentially stopping the path I was on with Christie’s I wanted to sit down and figure out why during the major part of my life I’ve had this really weird relationship with time and purpose, and not really being able to come to terms with it,” she says.

“It started to change the way I handled the project, and then that murky thinking translated into visuals that I have to work backwards from. That’s still how it goes. Everything I feel now , I can see it visually, but then it’s about working backwards to figure out how to make it a reality on set in front of the camera.

The launch of Christie’s 3.0, for Sinclair, has both profound and very personal implications.

“Having one of the biggest auction houses build a platform and sell digital art via blockchain represents a huge shift in how the world is going to view digital art. In the future, it will help advance the teaching of digital art in universities and other schools,” Sinclair said.

“And as an artist whose family members were also black and were also women and who have been turned down in the arts, to be in that position now, I’ve talked a lot with my family about the importance of ‘be a part of the change in the art world, but also this representation.

“And that’s cool with provenance on the blockchain. There are so many black people in history whose contributions to the world have been rejected or not properly recorded, but because of my collaboration with Christie’s and the way it happened, it will stay on the blockchain forever,” she notes. “So that was a moment where I sat down and felt this surrealism. I have certainly cried many times over it.

“By launching Christie’s 3.0, we hope to bring new artistic voices to the global Christie’s stage, showcasing the best in digital art for collectors around the world,” says Nicole Sales Giles, Commercial Director, Digital Art, at Christie’s. “Diana Sinclair’s work in Steps and his career in general is the perfect representation of that. His work is introspective, inspiring and relatable.

UTA’s roster of digital artists includes collections from Deadfellaz and MV3, as well as Web3 artists Emonee LaRussa and Vinnie Hager.

“Diana’s heart as an artist will touch many areas that make up our agency in the months and years to come,” says Silverman. “What I like the most is when our clients exchange their talent with each other.”