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Steve Aoki Selects His Favorite Works From Sotheby's 'Contemporary Curated' Auction

Sharing works from renowned artist such as Basquiat and Warhol, as well as NFT pieces from Raf Grassetti and himself.

Award-winning artist and entrepreneur Steve Aoki is featured as the curator for this year’s Sotheby’s “Contemporary Curated” Auction.

In an introductory video commissioned by the auction house, Aoki walks us through his unique take on art and his favorite works from the “Contemporary Curated” sale. Growing up surrounded by street art, the first piece Aoki purchased was from RETNA, before getting into KAWS and Japanese artists such as Takashi Murakami, Keiichi Tanaami, and Hajime Sorayama.

The recent wave of digital art has expanded Aoki’s field of view beyond the Japanese and contemporary art that resonated with him. Throughout life, Aoki has paved his own path, and for him “the only way in is crashing through the side window,” he exclaims.  “The side window is NFT culture and that’s where we’re going right now. The junction is between physical and digital, and eventually, it’ll be a lot more digital.”

Aoki views art like he views his music. “I want to hear something, feel something, see something experience something completely new and unique,” he says. The great thing about NFT’s is they “aren’t fixed to any galleries or walls and it has a viewership that anyone can participate in or look.”

Four NFT works were specially minted for the upcoming Sotheby’s sale, created by two female artists, Krista Kim and Kyt, and two male artists, Raf Grassetti and Ness Graphics. Aoki also collaborates with his friend pplpleasr for an anime-inspired NFT piece with original music. Proceeds for the sale will benefit the plsA0k1 Vault, an initiative supporting emerging female NFT artists.

In addition to NFTs Aoki highlights his favorite high-end physical works from renowned artists including pieces from Jean-Michel Basquiat, KAWS, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Titus Kaphar and more.

The “Contemporary Curated” public exhibition will open for viewing on September 25 at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries, and the auction will take place on September 30 at 10 a.m. ET.

Elsewhere in art, Pace Gallery brought a star-studded lineup to Art Basel 2021.

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