Beeple’s Human (2021), a seven-foot-tall sculpture made up of LED screens that shows an astronaut walking through a dystopian landscape, sold to Swiss venture capitalist Ryan Zurrer for $ 29 million in an evening sale at Christie’s yesterday evening.
On Twitter, Zurrer thanked Beeple for its “visionary innovation, incredible new energy and [the] hilarious positive vibes you brought to both crypto and art.
Zurrer is the founder and director of two enigmatic companies. Dialectic, as described on its Linkedin page, is “a Swiss capital firm focused on generating aberrant returns through a synergistic deployment of human and financial capital in alternative assets and globally diversified opportunities”; it has a “multi-family office space” that is “prepared for radical disruption”. His other company, Vine Ventures, is a $ 25 million fund that invests in companies specializing in psychedelics.
Zurrer previously worked for Vestas, a wind turbine company, and Energisa, an energy distribution company in Brazil, and founded Coinverse, which bills itself as South America’s first “Bitcoin bank”. (Some may see an irony in initiatives like this, given that Bitcoin has been followed by claims that it is less environmentally friendly than its supporters have led to believe.) Since 2013, Coinverse has allowed Brazilians to transact using cryptocurrency. In the same year, Zurrer also founded the engineering company Elementos Empreendimentos, which worked on renewable energy projects in South America.
Zurrer began to focus exclusively on crypto in 2016, when he became a venture capital partner at Polychain Capital, a major player in the crypto space during the Bitcoin boom of 2017. In 2018, as the price of Bitcoin collapsed, Zurrer was fired.
Aside from his business ventures, Zurrer has been a huge fan of NFTs. “I can get lost for hours sailing @SuperRare “, he said tweeted last month about the NFT platform. “This is probably the first site where a normal user can log out after spending 6 hours & 6 digits. This fact, they had the courage / vision to create a site that has value and that will be owned by the community will go down in the crypto legend.
Zurrer owns works by digital artists such as Maxim Zhestkov, Federico Clapis and WLOP, whose alluring digital paintings have earned them over a million Instagram followers. Zurrer also collects art from Refik Anadol, who has exhibited around the world this year, including at the Bitforms Gallery in New York, and sold a $ 5.1 million collection of digital works at Sotheby’s last month. . For a collector as passionate as Zurrer, a defining Beeple piece could be the crown jewel of his expanding collection.
“SAINT FUCKKKKKK !!! INSANELY HONORED to be in this collection, ”Beeple tweeted right after the auction.
Before the sale of Human, which also has an NFT component, market tipsters have speculated on its performance on the block. Beeple made international headlines earlier this year when he sold an NFT at Christie’s for more than $ 69 million. “Will we see another frenzy like with Da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’?” Josh Baer, who runs the @BaerFaxt newsletter, asked on Instagram.
Human may not have reached the heights of Salvator Mundi, but Zurrer can rest easy knowing that he owns a piece of crypto art history.