Everything You Need to Know About Beeple

Beeple is a prolific digital artist whose work reflects the world’s current events and crypto culture. He is best known for his series Everydays, where he creates one piece of art every single day – and has done so for the past 15 years. 

His real name is Mike Winkelmann, but his pseudonym “Beeple” comes from the name of an ‘80s toy with a light-up nose.

The artist was born in Charleston, South Carolina and raised in Wisconsin. He studied computer science at Purdue University. Afterwards, he shortly worked in website design before starting to create art using a program called Cinema 4D. 

Learn more about Beeple and his work in NFTs in our artist guide below.

Beeple's Early Work

“A fully cracked version of Fruity Loops” helped Winkelmann launch the name “Beeple” for the first time. From 2003 through 2006, he made music albums using the software. 

However, a majority of the first work that Winkelmann did under the name “Beeple” were short films. These films were made using a combination of Macromedia Fireworks 8, Fruity Loops, and Sony Vegas. The archive on his website contains videos dating back to 2003.

Concert Visuals and VJ Loops

Beeple has worked on concert visuals for Justin Bieber, One Direction, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Zedd, deadmau5, and many more. For the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show, he created projections for the performers’ stage floor.

He offers many VJ project loops under the creative commons (CC0) license on his website


The Everydays series first launched in May 2007 as rudimentary drawings. Beeple was inspired by a UK artist to draw one thing every day, and he hasn’t stopped since. The very first Everyday was a portrait of Beeple’s uncle. His style has evolved over 15 “rounds” (years), incorporating more advanced 3D skills than ever. 

In the lot description for an Everydays Christie’s auction, Beeple said: “I almost look at it now like I’m a political cartoonist...Except instead of doing sketches, I’m using the most advanced 3D tools to make comments on current events, almost in real-time.”

Some of the themes involved in Everydays include dystopian figures, current events, politics, and NFT culture. Many of them are– let’s say– challenging to look at (which is the entire point).

Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear collection incorporated some of Beeple’s Everyday designs in them. 

Introduction to NFTs

Beeple has only been selling NFTs since October 2020, even though it seems like he has been on the scene much longer. Although he has a massive body of work, only a small percentage of it has sold as NFTs.

In September 2020, he received a message from the platform Nifty Gateway, asking if he wanted to do a drop. At first he ignored it, but then realized the success that some other artists were seeing with selling their art as NFTs, including Pak. Beeple also leveraged his nearly 2 million Instagram followers at the time to sell his art digitally.

He auctioned off three Everydays and crashed the Nifty Gateway website in the process. Beeple provided a small LCD screen with a titanium back to the winning bidders, so that they could physically display the NFT on a moving loop. 

One of the pieces was called “Crossroad,”  an animated image which would update based on who ended up winning the 2020 US presidential election. This piece alone sold for $66,666, and was re-sold months later for a stunning $6.6 million. 

In Dec. 2020, he auctioned off 21 more Everydays on Nifty Gateway, plus three five-minute timed open editions, for a total of $3.5 million in primary sales. 

The $69 Million Sale

In March 2021, just months after Beeple had discovered NFTs, Christie’s auctioned off a Beeple compliation called “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days.” It was the first purely digital work of art ever offered by a major auction house. 

The description states: “Organized in loose chronological order, zooming in on individual pieces reveals abstract, fantastical, grotesque, and absurd pictures, alongside current events and deeply personal moments. Society’s obsession with and fear of technology; the desire for and resentment of wealth; and America’s recent political turbulence appear frequently throughout the work.”

Singapore-based programmer Vignesh Sundaresan, otherwise known as MetaKovan, purchased 20 of the 21 Beeple pieces from the December 2020 auction lots.

Sundaresan later spent $69 million on a compilation of Beeple's Everydays, showcased above. This currently stands as the most expensive NFT ever sold to a solo owner via auction. 

Everydays: The First 5,000 Days Book

On Feb. 28, 2023, Beeple is releasing a hardcover book (a monograph) showcasing his first 5,000 Everydays. It also displays some of his early work and contains an interview with him about his illustrious career thus far.

Human One

Beeple created a 7-foot-high sculpture called Human One. It’s the first work by him that has both an NFT and a sculptural component. Human One is a kinetic video sculpture made up of four video screens (16K resolution), polished aluminum metal, a mahogany wood frame, dual media servers; and endless video with a corresponding dynamic NFT.

It is described as “a generative work of art, a dynamically changing hybrid physical and digital piece, which the artist intends to seamlessly add and evolve creatively over the course of his lifetime.” 

In Nov. 2021, it was sold for nearly $29 million to Ryan Zurrer, a high-end NFT collector. In Apr. 2022, Human One was exhibited at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art and later at the M+ Museum in Hong Kong.

WENEW, 10KTF and Yuga Acquisition 

WENEW was founded in June 2021 by Beeple, Guy Oseary, Tim Smith, and Michael Figge. The web3 company has partnered with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Playboy, Wimbledon, Gucci, Puma, and others to curate and release NFTs of the most memorable moments in music, fashion, sports, and politics.

WENEW is the parent company of 10KTF, a storytelling-driven NFT collection. 10KTF are the architects of New Tokyo, “a floating city on a parallel universe.” The lore of the collection involves crafting, collecting, battling, and more. 

In Nov. 2022, WENEW and 10KTF were acquired by Yuga Labs (founders of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Otherside). This news made shockwaves across the NFT space after months of rumored connections between 10KTF and Bored Ape Yacht Club. As a part of the deal, Beeple joined Yuga Labs as an advisor and WENEW CEO Michael Figge became Yuga Labs' chief content officer.

Beeple Studios 

It's not all just online for Beeple. In his hometown of Charleston, SC, Beeple is opening up Beeple Studios - a 50,000 sq. foot studio where Beeple makes his artwork. It will also feature a 13,000 sq. foot gallery and 13,000 sq. foot experiential space, which will be able to host web3 and artist events.

The grand opening is scheduled for Mar. 11, 2023, the two-year anniversary of the $69 million Everyday auction. The event will display works of other digital artists like Pak, Coldie, Fvckrender, XCOPY and many more. 

In an interview with Artnet, Beeple said the studio “will run quicker and function more like a decentralized entity, rather than a traditional museum or collective.” As part of the grand opening event, there was an open artist submission for people to display their work across all of the video walls and screens in the gallery. 

Learn More About Beeple

Beeple told ArtAsiaPacific, “The entire discourse in my work, in my opinion, is very immature and superficial, but that is very much an intentional aesthetic that I am exploring with the work.” Ever since his early dabblings in music and short films, he has been experimenting relentlessly. 

Beeple's historic $69 million sale has put him as the third-highest valued living artist (digital or otherwise), only behind Jeff Koons’s “Rabbit” and David Hockney’s “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures).”

As the artist surpasses 5,770 consecutive Everydays, his style continues to evolve as he creates dynamic pieces around pop culture, politics, and crypto life. The designer and artist has a goal each day: create an image that he’s never seen before; “a f**king cool picture.” The opening of Beeple Studios is another milestone in that mission as it opens its doors in the coming weeks. 

For more information about Beeple, check out his official links.