Micah Johnson, a former MLB player-turned artist, sold a whopping $1 million worth of tokenized art in just one minute on the Winklevoss-owned NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway.
The auction, which launched on Feb. 21 and lasted for 28 hours, generated $2 million worth of sales in total. The auction sold NFTs representing a painted sculpture made from hand-casted resin dubbed AKU: The Moon God.
The physical AKU sculpture was also sold during the auction, fetching $305,000. The sculpture will be deposited into a vault and is subject to a two-year lockup.
The purchaser also receives exclusive access to view the sculpture — which is stored in a physical vault at the Art Angels gallery in Miami, and can resell the sculpture at any time by transferring their token.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Johnson expressed his intention to demonstrate how non-fungible tokens can create unique experiences and utilities that go beyond the virtual world.
AKU depicts a young black child wearing an oversized space helmet and looking up to the sky. Johnson recounts finding inspiration for AKU from a heartbreaking question his sister was asked of her son, “Mom, can astronauts be black?”
In response, Johnson began painting his nephew as an astronaut, which eventually lead to the creation of AKU — a character that Johnson describes as having limitless potential:
“I wanted to give him life, bring that to light, and let the other kids or other people, adults, whoever felt like there was of their dreams to have a symbol to the whole world could relate to.”
Johnson described AKU as a great personal achievement, noting the tokenized artwork’s success as offering inspiration to people from all walks of life:
“To bring together such a diverse group of people. And let them see or be inspired by AKU, you never know how many people who collected that AKU, or sell that AKU, finally found the courage to go do something that they’ve thought about doing, dreamed about doing, and they’re going to go do it and maybe just change the world.”
The auction received widespread support from across the crypto community, including Erikan Obotetukudo, the founder of PaperTrail media:
We did it!!! $1.4M in 7 minutes!! @Micah_Johnson3 https://t.co/pbr9jIdzGu
— Erikan (@heyerikan) February 21, 2021
Within 36 hours of the auction’s completion, the tokens had generated nearly $500,000 worth of trade on secondary markets.