Andy Warhol created some NFTs in the 80s and they just sold for $3.38 million

His Pop Art could mean anything.

by George Griffiths
29 May 2021, 3:49pm

Image via Getty

Andy Warhol once eerily predicted that in the future, everyone on the planet would become famous for 15 minutes, a fair few decades before reality TV and social media are very close to making his nightmare a reality.

And now to once again prove that the father of Pop Art was way ahead of the curve, a collection of previously unavailable artwork, created on his computer in 1985, just sold for a record-breaking amount at auction as NFTs.

The collection of ‘Amiga’ works are so named from the Commodore’s Amiga 1000 computer on which they were created via a software called ProPaint that was never actually released, so take that Microsoft.

The works were originally found and ‘meticulously processed’ from their floppy disks (remember those?) in 2014, before the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visible Arts minted the pieces for sale at Christie’s in New York.

The collection included two self-portraits, a picture of his signature flower, a banana, and a take on his iconic Campbell’s Soup can.

Altogether, five NFTs were placed on sale by Christie’s last Thursday (May 27) and sold together for a staggering $3.38 million. $1.17 million went to the soup can motif alone, with bidding starting at $10,000 and attracting 200 bidders overall.

While being sold as NFTs, this doesn’t guarantee anyone ownership of the physical work, instead bidders were in with a chance of owning some of Warhol’s art on the blockchain, a so-called digital ledger. NFTs are a different kind of cryptocurrency, in that they are non-fungible, and cannot be interchanged or swapped with anything else.

The processing of the digital works also shows a testament to the artist himself; a true visionary who seemed constantly one step ahead of his own popular culture, in many ways looking straight ahead into ours.

Of course, the sale of the NFTs could raise questions about the validity of them as true Warhol creations, but in a statement to Highsnobiety, The Andy Warhol Foundation said: “There is no question of authorship in this matter and to suggest otherwise is irresponsible and wrong.

“As the guardian of Warhol’s legacy, the Warhol Foundation is empowered to choose the format most suitable for minting these 5 NFTs. In making our decision to use .tif files, we were guided by Warhol’s artistic intention for these pioneering digital works and our goal that they be preserved in a format to be enjoyed in posterity."

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Andy Warhol