An artist featured by the renowned auction house Sotheby’s said Saturday he would withdraw his art from an NFT sale that’s currently underway, citing a lack of representation of female-identifying artists.
Patrick Amadon, whose work revolves around the visual style known as “glitch art,” said Sotheby’s “Natively Digital: Glitch-ism” should have been more inclusive.
“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,” he said on Twitter. “Female-identifying artists have played a major role in the glitch movement.”
Sotheby’s “Glitch-ism” sale began Friday as a first-of-its-kind, online auction that focuses on the genre of glitch art, composed of NFTs from 21 artists. The artworks’ mediums range from static images in the form of JPEGs to MP4s and GIFs that jitter and distort with the common characteristics of computer malfunctions.
The sale follows Sotheby’s “Oddly Satisfying” auction—which also fell under its “Natively Digital” umbrella—featuring 66 NFT pieces and artwork from the iconic NFT artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann.
Though the ownership of each piece is represented by an NFT, Sotheby’s acknowledged on its website that the genre of glitch art extends far beyond just the cryptocurrency and Web3 space, with roots that predate digital assets.
“Whether the work is a reference to the state of cryptocurrency or a wider social commentary, this glitch aesthetic has had a deep and profound impact on the formation of the Digital Art World as a whole,” Sotheby’s website states.
Amadon said on Twitter that the piece’s visual flourishes were created by manipulating code in a well-known Microsoft application.
The piece of artwork that Amadon intends to pull from Sotheby’s sale is titled “STATIC GLITCH 2013.” As of this writing, the piece is still available and had secured 21 bids, the latest offer tallying $8,500.
Sotheby’s did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Decrypt.
Amadon emphasized the importance of representation and inclusivity, signaling his decision was meant to influence how artists would be showcased in the future more broadly—not limited to Sotheby’s “Glitch-ism” sale.
“It’s critical that we build this movement correctly,” he said. “Everything we do now not only affects our community today, it will affect thousands on thousands of future artists that inherit what we’ve left them.”
Another Amadon piece had just landed at the intersection of art and social movements. His artwork titled “No Rioters” was removed from a billboard in Hong Kong earlier this month, as reported by the Associated Press.
The piece was meant to show solidarity with pro-democracy protestors who took to the city’s streets in 2019, subliminally flickering the names of activists that were arrested during the movement along with details about their prison sentences.
“Proving that one person can make change happen, Patrick Amadon steps up at a time when he could truly, just leverage his success to benefit monetarily after his Hong Kong happening,” wrote Fellow glitch artist Liz on Twitter. “Instead he uses his newly earned fame to publicly protest lack of representation in art. Awesome example.”
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