Over the weekend, Steve Aoki released a limited art collection via a non-fungible token (NFT) sale. The event brought in $4.25 million, led by a record-breaking single-auction price of $888,888.88 paid by former T-Mobile CEO John Legere, Aoki’s team tells Rolling Stone.
Aoki designed his collection “Dream Catcher” in partnership with visual artist Antonio Tudisco and released the project with artist-management company YMU, which also manages 3Lau and RAC and assisted them in wading into NFTs in recent months. The artist-DJ-producer put up 11 unique pieces for auction, all of which comprise soundscapes in harmony with digital animations, and the sale lasted from Sunday, March 7th to Monday, March 8th.
Legere spent the $888,888.88 on Aoki’s single piece titled “hairy,” which sets a record for the highest auction price on the hosting platform Nifty Gateway. Since leaving T-Mobile in 2019, the former telecom executive has spent his time tweeting about every subject under the sun and contemplating a political stint.
In a press release that will go out later today (March 9th), Aoki — who has been a fashion designer, record label founder, and author in addition to his pursuits as a songwriter and performer — said that “NFTs gave me an opportunity to finally merge art, collectible culture and music in a way I’ve never been able to realize before.” He added, “I do believe that this is where the world is going by any means necessary. NFTs are a juggernaut that cannot be stopped. It will soon be normalized and be a structural pillar in our culture. If you’re reading this now, you’re early. Time to build, innovate and disrupt the entire space.”
Aoki’s manager Matt Colon said in the release that the team “never expected” anything close to the reception from buyers and the NFT community. “I think it’s a testament to the time and energy that Steve and Antoni put into these pieces, obsessing over even the smallest of details,” Colon says. “It just goes to show that art matters AND has value.”