Sotheby’s NFT Auction Artist Pulls Out Over Diversity Concerns

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  • Sotheby’s has canceled an NFT auction after an artist raised gender imbalance concerns
  • The artist said that the auction lacks collectibles created by female artists
  • Sotheby’s said they’ll hold the auction at a later date after reconstituting the artists’ lineup

Leading collectibles auction house Sotheby’s has canceled an NFT auction dubbed Natively Digital: Glitch-ism after a featured artist pulled out his artworks citing gender imbalance among participating artists. The artist, Patrick Amadon, said that featured NFT creators are predominantly male thus lacking gender equality. Sotheby’s has acknowledged the gap saying it will resume the auction after solving the gender inclusivity issue.

GIFs, JPEGs and MP4 Glitch NFTs

According to Amadon who specializes in glitch art, “female-identifying” creators are a critical component in the growth of glitch-based virtual artworks. The NFT auction, which had kicked off on Friday, displayed glitch artworks from 21 artists and featured GIFs, JPEGs and video-based NFTs. 

Sotheby’s later halted the auction saying the decision was due to “feedback from the community,” adding that it’s a community-oriented auction house aspiring to conduct artist-centric sales.

According to Amadon, one of his artworks included in the Sotheby’s auction, STATIC GLITCH 2013, had already attracted 21 collectors with the highest paying over $8,000 before the auction was canceled. Amadon revealed that the artwork was created using Wordpad, a free program on Microsoft Windows operating system. 

Fighting for Thousands of Future Artists

According to Amadon, it’s advisable to fight for gender inclusivity in the NFT space now since overlooking it will impact “thousands of future artists.” This is not the first time Sotheby’s has canceled an NFT auction. 

Last year, it stopped the sale of 104 CryptoPunk NFTs after the owner changed his mind at the last minute. The auction house is also known for high-profile NFT sales such as the sale of a Bored Ape collection for over $24 million and the auction of Snow Crash Manuscript NFT.

Being a respected auction house and halting Natively Digital: Glitch-ism for a worthy cause, collectibles in the auction are likely to fetch high prices once the event resumes.