by Rebecca Addison & The Atlantean
On March 11, Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist known as Beeple, made history when an NFT of his work sold for $69 million at auction house Christie’s. Beeple’s First 5000 Days is the most expensive NFT ever sold and was the first purely digital NFT-based artwork ever offered by a major auction house. The sale positions Beeple among the top three most valuable living artists.
The artwork depicts a digital collage of 5,000 unique artworks. Beeple created and posted an artwork every day consecutively for more than 13-and-a-half years. The NFT was purchased by Metakovan, the pseudonymous founder and financer of Metapurse, the largest NFT (unique digital assets) fund in the world.
Now, the two men behind Metapurse have come forward. In a March 18 blog post, Vignesh Sundaresan and Anand Venkateswaran, two immigrants from Tamil Nadu, revealed their identities.
“The point was to show Indians and people of color that they too could be patrons, that crypto was an equalizing power between the West and the Rest, and that the global south was rising,” the blog says.
Sundaresan is an entrepreneur, coder and blockchain angel investor. Venkateswaran is a communications strategist and cryptocurrency enthusiast. Their company, Metapurse, is a crypto-exclusive fund that specializes in identifying early-stage projects across blockchain infrastructure, finance, art, unique collectibles, and virtual estate.
“The thesis of Metapurse is that the art of the Metaverse will be crucial, beautiful, digital, and cryptographical. And it will be stored on-chain,” the blog says. “Digital decentralization enables cultural decentralization. Anyone can create NFT art, anyone can buy it, anyone can see it, and anyone can be inspired by it. Dominant cultures have a tendency to imperialize, to centralize. We see the global Metaverse as an antidote to this tendency. There is space for many cultures, lifestyles, and ideologies. An opportunity to find your ‘tribe’, no matter where you’re from. And that is powerful. That is the future.”
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