Cancelled Sotheby’s NFT Auction Highlights Need for Diversity and Representation

image of a woman's face in black and white glitching for Sotheby's NFT glitch auction

Sotheby’s, the famous auction house, canceled its “Natively Digital: Glitch-ism” NFT auction on Sunday. The decision came after one of the featured artists, Patrick Amadon, announced his withdrawal from the event. Amadon, a glitch art specialist, criticized the auction for not representing female-identifying artists. Significantly, he argued that Sotheby’s should have been more inclusive in its Glitch-ism collection. Let’s take a closer look!

image of a woman's face in black and white glitching for Sotheby's NFT glitch auction

Sotheby’s “Glitch-ism” Auction: A Critical Moment in the Movement for Inclusivity in Art. Image: Rosa Menkman-
JPEG from A Vernacular of File Formats, (2009 – 2010), 2023 revisitation

Patrick Amadon Emphasizes Significance of Representation and Inclusivity in the Art Industry

Firstly, let’s take a look at Sotheby’s NFT auction. 21 artists showcased their glitch art NFTs in Sotheby’s “Glitch-ism” online auction, which launched on Friday. Moreover, the collection consisted of various mediums, including JPEGs, MP4s, and GIFs that reflect computer malfunctions. But now, the sales are on hold.

“STATIC GLITCH 2013” was the piece for sale at Sotheby’s NFT auction. The artwork received 21 bids, with the most recent bid of $8,500. However, this was before the auction was canceled.

Sotheby’s “Oddly Satisfying” auction preceded the canceled auction. It showcased 58 NFT pieces and artwork from renowned artists such as ARC and Lucas Zanotto. Furthermore, it was held recently as part of the “Natively Digital” series.

Patrick Amadon, a glitch art artist, withdrew his artwork from Sotheby’s “Glitch-ism” NFT auction. Amadon made this decision due to a lack of female representation. Markedly, Amadon stated that representation is crucial in the industry.

“While I believe it was a genuine oversight and the team means well, the lack of representation is a serious issue and we need to address this in our space,” he posted to his Twitter account. “Female-identifying artists have played a major role in the glitch movement.”


Sotheby's NFT Glitch-ism art auction piece

Sotheby’s “Glitch-ism” NFT Auction Features Glitch Art in Various Mediums. Image: Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s NFT Auction Cancellation Sparks Inclusivity Conversation

Let’s take a closer look at Patrick Amadon’s call for change. Markedly, Patrick Amadon highlighted the significance of representation and inclusivity, demonstrating that his decision aimed to have a wider influence. He didn’t restrict his decision to Sotheby’s “Glitch-ism” NFT auction. Rather, he intended to shape how artists will be displayed in the future.

“It’s critical that we build this movement correctly,” he said. “Everything we do now not only affects our community today, it will affect thousands on thousands of future artists that inherit what we’ve left them.”

Liz, another glitch artist, wrote on Twitter:Proving that one person can make change happen, Patrick Amadon steps up at a time when he could truly, just leverage his success to benefit monetarily. Instead he uses his newly earned fame to publicly protest lack of representation in art. Awesome example.”

Influencing the future exhibition of artists, Amadon’s decision to withdraw his work from the “Glitch-ism” NFT auction has highlighted the critical significance of inclusivity and representation in the art world. The auction cancellation underlines the need for increased diversity, extending beyond Sotheby’s “Glitch-ism” collection.

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