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Beeple Is Trying His Hand at Artwork for Walls

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A cavalry of crypto enthusiasts funneled into Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood on Thursday evening, waiting outside Jack Hanley Gallery for a chance to meet their online art messiah in the flesh. In the mix were celebrities like Jimmy Fallon. It was a rock-star welcome for Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist known as Beeple, who was putting the final touches on his images of decapitated tech executives and haywire science experiments.

Last year Winkelmann, 40, introduced the world to NFTs (or nonfungible tokens), starting with the $69 million sale of his “Everydays — The First 5000 Days” at a Christie’s auction, which set cryptocurrency on a crash course with culture. Now he is seeking approval from the art establishment with his first gallery exhibition, called “Uncertain Future,” which intends to convince critics that his work has more substance than what they see onscreen.

“I’m kind of in a weird position,” Winkelmann said at the gallery that night. “I’m an outsider in the traditional art world. I didn’t really feel like that until recently because I…

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