Going, going, gone: First Israeli NFT art goes to auction block

The Tiroche family auctioned Chagalls and Gutmans, Yitzhak Rabin’s Rolex and Ariel Sharon’s cowboy boots (gifted to him by George Bush) from the Herzliya Pituah auction block.

But Monday’s sale of four NFTs, or non-tradable tokens, created by Israeli artists is a first and a sale the family-owned auction house has been considering for some time.

“We started thinking about it, but we didn’t want to get into something we didn’t fully understand,” said Amitai Hazan Tiroche, who runs the auction house with her father, Dov Hazan. (Hazan is his father’s name, Tiroche is his mother’s name).

NFTs are a blockchain-based commodity that is driving the art world on a buying spree. Technology offers digital creations a kind of certificate of authenticity, allowing individual ownership of something that could otherwise be replicated forever.

NFTs can also be expensive.

Artist Damien Hirst’s NFT experiment “The Currency,” which asks buyers to choose between a digital token and IRL (real-life) art, grossed $18 million from the initial sale, with Hirst accounting for another five percent of resale proceeds as NFTs are bought and sold. collected online.

Four Israeli artists whose NFT work will be featured on the Tiroche auction block, street artist Tag, with a particular focus on technology and social media; Shira Barzilay, better known on the internet as Koketit, is known for her flirty line drawings, often focusing on the female figure and female empowerment; video artist Shirley Shor; and violinist Moran Victoria Sabag, who combines music with art.

An NFT, or immutable token, created by Israeli artist Moran Victoria Sabag will be auctioned on May 30, 2022 at the Herzliya Pituach auction house Tiroche (Courtesy Tiroche)

Tiroche said works by Tag, Shor, and Sabag are valued between $3,000 and $6,000, while works by the better-known Koketit are worth $10,000 to $15,000.

He said the prices are lower than NFT prices abroad, mostly because Israeli NFT artists are not that well known.

“Auctions run on demand and people test the market,” Tiroche said. “We have no idea how it will turn out.”

Over the past year, various entrepreneurs and companies have arrived in Tiroche hoping to work with the auction house on NFT sales.

Tiroche said they are cautious given that no one dealing with this new field of art has much track record.

“Whenever NFT came up, my father would say, ‘I don’t understand, talk to my son, it’s not for me,’ said Tiroche, 35. . And often people over 50 say, ‘Don’t tell me about it.

From Bored Ape Yacht Club Art Instagram account (Bored Ape Yacht Club Art screenshot)

However, he believes it’s permanent, pointing to fashion brands Prada, Louis Vuitton and Nike that have worked with digital artists to create NFTs.

“Instead of an expensive watch, NFT is another way to show what you have and it costs half a million dollars,” Tiroche said. “The world is changing and people will be in the metadatabase to get what they want.”

Israeli singer Omar Adam recently told his Twitter followers that he had purchased a token from the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, which featured social media profile pictures of cartoon monkeys generated by an algorithm.

Tiroche said some NFT buyers have money to invest, especially if they are investing in cryptocurrency.

“You cannot buy a house or a car with cryptocurrencies. You are limited by what you can do,” he said.

An NFT, or non-changeable coin, created by Israeli artist Tag will be auctioned on May 30, 2022 at the Herzliya Pituah auction house Tiroche (Courtesy Tiroche)

Saying that NFT collectors are younger than typical art buyers, Tiroche is waiting for the children of major collectors to come to see the contemporary art he exhibits for the first time.

“When we decided to do it, it happened very quickly, but it was very important to us that we didn’t do it just for the sake of doing it,” he said. “Part of the benefit of NFTs is the environment and they have something to say.”

Tiroche NFT auction will be held on Monday, 30 May at 20:00 at the Tiroche auction house.

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