Christie’s Wunderkind Noah Davis, Who Sold That $69 Million Beeple, Is Leaving the Auction House to Lead CryptoPunks Into the Future

The head of digital sale will host his final auction at the end of the month, benefitting psychedelic research.

Noah Davis. Photo courtesy Christie's.

The head of digital sales at Christie’s, Noah Davis, known for auctioning major works by the likes of Beeple and Refik Anadol, is on the move.

In a Twitter thread posted on June 19, Davis announced he would be taking his talents to Yuga Labs—the creators of the hugely popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, who also acquired CryptoPunks and Meebits.

“I’m humbled and honored to announce I’ll be leaving my current post in July to steward the CryptoPunks as Brand Lead under the umbrella of @yugalabs,” Davis Posted, “before I say anything else it’s important to confirm what we WON’T be doing… simply put: I WILL NOT FUCK WITH THE PUNKS!!!”

“If you’re a Punk holder and you care about the legacy/future of the brand I wanna talk one on one,” Davis added in the Twitter thread. “I’ll be at the Punks Brunch during NFT NYC and will begin scheduling sit downs immediately. Wherever Punks go, the community will help guide us.”

Speaking at an NFT NYC event on Tuesday, Davis said: “I’m elated, I’m really elated. I’ve been at Christie’s for seven or eight years, but being the NFT guy has been the most fun.”

In a separate thread, Yuga Labs hinted that they will soon be turning CryptoPunks back over to the community, a move similar to how things work with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, where owners of NFTs are able to to license and profit from the art works. In advance of the news, the floor price of CryptoPunks rose to 66.65 ETH (around $69,000).

The announcement comes on the heels of a major sale Davis is organizing at Christie’s together with collector Ryan Zurrer, which will now be his last at the auction house. That sale, taking place online from June 21 to 28, includes a selection of boundary-defying artists whose relationship to psychedelic culture has pushed the limits between art and conscious experience.

Entitled “Cartography of the Mind,” it includes some of the biggest names in crypto art: Beeple, FVCKRENDER, Maxim Zhestkov, Mad Dog Jones, Alex Grey, Andres Reisinger, and others.

“Its a bittersweet transition, but I’m happy this gets to be my last sale,” Davis said at NFT NYC. The proceeds of the auction will benefit MAPS, a non-profit organization founded in 1986 that is dedicated to researching the therapeutic effects of psychedelic substances like MDMA, Ketamine and LSD, on conditions like post-traumatic stress and depression.

Yuga Labs, founded in 2021 by two friends who were initially only known by their online pseudonyms—Gargamel and Gordon Goner—has made a huge name for itself in a relatively short amount of time, launching and acquiring some of the biggest NFT projects to date. The company saw a highly-lucrative first year in business, generating $127 million in net revenue and raising $450 million in seed funding at a $4 billion evaluation led by Andreessen Horowitz, with Animoca Brands, FTX Ventures, and others also participating.

Perhaps their most successful products are the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. Several music labels, including Universal Music, recently launched a metaverse music group consisting of the cartoonish characters, and Timbaland, the grammy-award winning producer, also unveiled an entertainment brand based around the NFTs.

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