A transgender teen’s physical artwork and non-fungible tokens netted $2.16 million at auction at Christie’s on Wednesday.
“Hello, i’m Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life” included five lots by 18-year-old Victor Langlois, aka FEWOCiOUS, a rising star in the increasingly popular — and lucrative — world of NFT art.
An NFT is a blockchain-powered unit of data that authenticates ownership of digital objects — images, videos, songs, even tweets.
Each lot represents a year of Langlois’ life between the ages of 14 and 18, as he began to understand his gender identity, transitioned and moved from Las Vegas to Seattle.
The series includes a physical painting, a video artwork sold exclusively as an NFT and a collection of physical and NFT doodles, drawings and journal entries from the corresponding year.
Upon request, Langlois will deliver the physical painting to the collector in a custom suitcase, Christie’s said in a statement, “an ode to how he transported his earliest drawings and paintings, when leaving behind his past in pursuit of a brighter future.”
The series reflects a traumatic period in Langlois’ life, amid what he describes as an abusive upbringing. After running away from home at age 12, he was raised by his grandmother, a single mom from El Salvador with three jobs and four kids.
“I think she struggled so much that she just wanted security,” he told Christie’s. “To see me wanting to pursue art, she was like, ‘What? Be a lawyer.’ Which I understand. But it hurt when she would say, ‘Your art is ugly and that’s why you can’t do it.'”
Langlois began drawing art on his iPad, he told Decrypt, because he wasn’t allowed paint. The first piece in “Hello, I’m Victor” is titled “Year 1, Age 14 — It Hurts to Hide.”
Last year, he began selling digital works on the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway: He earned $25,000 for “Moment i Fell in Love” in November, enough to fund his move to Seattle, and rang in New Year’s 2021 with the NFT drop “Over-Analyzing Again,” which brought in $35,000.
Barely two months later, on March 6, his work “The EverLasting Beautiful” sold for $550,000.
Since getting into digital art barely a year ago, Langlois has earned just under $18 million. According to Christie’s, he’s also the youngest artist to have work sold through the legendary auction house.
“He went all out on this project and bared his beautiful soul for the world,” Christie’s digital art specialist Noah Davis said in a statement. “I hope his success shines bright for other young creative people who might be struggling with similar issues of identity and acceptance.”
On June 23, the first day of the auction, demand was so high it crashed the Christie’s website, Esquire reported. That success is particularly poignant, Langlois said, because too often trans artists are overlooked.
“Thank you so much for believing in me and my journey. It means the world,” he said in a tearful Instagram…