• Gary Vaynerchuk’s graffiti trumps Warhol, Pollock, Neil and others at Christie’s

  • Media mogul and former wine blogger Gary Vaynerchuk sold a graffiti of an elephant at Christie’s today for $412,500.

    The “compassionate elephant,” more popular than works by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Alice Neill, Wayne Thibault, George Kondo and others, is one of the foundations of Vaynerchuk’s VeeFriends NFT series – a set of tokens tied to animal-themed collectibles on the ethereum blockchain.

    Also included in the “Postwar to Present” auction are Vaynerchuk’s physical paintings “Grateful Gorilla,” “‘Diamond Hand’ Hen,” “‘You’ll Die’ Fly,” and “Giant Tiger.”

    Although these drawings mark the beginning of Vaynerchuk’s Unforgivable Token Project, Christie’s lot is not actually bundled with NFT; these are simply pen-and-ink scribbles that he used as models for his image files.

    Gary says it’s both “uncomfortable” and “humbling” that his doodles have outsold so many famous artists.

    “It’s almost an out-of-body experience,” he told us in an interview.” In this equation, I worry less about myself and more about how lucky I am to be present at a time when the world is changing.”

    Since launching VeeFriends in May, Vaynerchuk has become a prominent influencer in the NFT space. the minimum listing price for VeeFriend is still over $50,000, and one of Vaynerchuk’s media properties, ONE37pm, has shifted somewhat forcefully to NFT coverage.

    Like other major NFT collectibles like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, VeeFriends wants to be more than just a speculative vehicle; the idea is that when you buy a token, you’re buying a community. Next year, Vaynerchuk plans to host a conference specifically for VeeFriends token holders.

    During the call, he added that he also purchased a Warhol painting, “Dollar Sign,” at today’s sale.

    “It’s more important to me that [VeeFriends] come from me – the provenance – than hiring a great digital artist to work with me,” Vaynerchuk said, adding.

    “I think it’s a really cool crossover situation. And that’s exactly what’s happening today. There’s another unique element to this project that other projects don’t have, and you can’t even imagine how I feel right now, and the market agrees.”

    In another auction, Christie’s sold a set of 30 “vintage cards” of NFT for 393 ETH, or about $1.3 million.

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