Art and luxury auction house, Sotheby’s, paused its “Natively Digital: Glitch-ism” NFT auction following a controversy caused due to the imbalance of representation, especially the exclusion of female-identifying artists in the NFT auction.
Sothby’s announced the pause in response to the withdrawal of glitch artist Patrick Amadon from the event.
Patrick Amadon tweeted “I am pulling my work from the Sothebys sale. 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. Female-identifying artists have played a major role in the glitch movement.”
Sotheby’s New York recently announced the Natively Digital: Glitch-ism featuring artworks from 21 glitch artists such as Xcopy, JakNFT, jakethedegen, Luis Ponce, neurocolor, Patrick Amadon, etc.
The online auction opened for bidding on Sothebys.com at 2 pm on March 24, but the withdrawal of Patrick, and the uproar from the excluded artists caused Sotheby’s to eventually take proper action.
“We remain committed to working closely with the community to ensure sales are artist-driven and represent the breadth of digital artists. We appreciate the community for raising this concern and to the artists in the sale, thank you for supporting this decision,” Sotheby’s tweeted.
In addition, the auction house announced that it will conduct a panel discussion and exhibition at Sotheby’s New York during NFT NYC to support underrepresented communities of Glitch artists who are active in the NFT sector.
This is not the first time in history that female-identifying and other communities have been excluded from their respective sector. The erasure and lack of representation of the glitch artists who have been pivotal to the popularity of the movement is definitely a black mark on such a reputed auction house.
Even if Sotheby’s has chosen to postpone the event, it is astonishing that they did not consider including even one female-identifying artist—the absolute minimum—to their roster of 21 glitch artists.
Nonetheless, as the glitch artists showed solidarity regarding the lack of representation which made the auction house change its mind, it sets the right example for every other industry, not only art.
But despite the performative “Women’s Day celebrations,” it appears that much more has to be done.
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