On April 2, 1965 TIME put computers on its cover, predicting that the machines would irrevocably change the way Americans live and work. They weren’t wrong. Fifty-six years later on April 27, 2021 computers have again made the cover, this time featuring in-process digital artwork by Mike Winkelmann (aka Beeple) inside Cinema 4D for a story “on the future of business and the digitization of everything,” TIME’s Creative Director D.W. Pine explained.
TIME chose Winkelmann, and his mid-process artwork made with Cinema 4D and OctaneRender, because the popular South Carolina-based artist has always been a leader in the digital art world. But Winkelmann became a household name in March when he made headlines around the world after selling a collection of the artwork he’s been making every day for thirteen year, Everydays — The First 5000 Days, for $69 million dollars at Christie’s auction house.
Now one of the top three valuable living artists — behind Jeff Koons and David Hockney — Winkelmann is credited with not only changing the perceived value of digital art; he’s also brought NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) and crypto art into the mainstream. “It’s the start of a new chapter in art history where people take digital art very seriously, like they would any other art form that is collected and valued at very high levels,” Winkelmann told Maxon recently.
That’s good news for the future of digital art and artists who would like to try selling some of their personal artwork. And as the world increasingly becomes a mix of virtual and real, the possibilities for what artists can create (and sell) with their tools seem exciting and endless.
“Our entire mission at Maxon is to help artists tell their stories,” says CEO David McGavran. “To see Mike succeed in such a way is a confirmation of what Maxon is doing. We celebrate his success and feel honored that Mike chose to include Cinema 4D in his TIME cover design. It’s a testament to the hard work of our amazing team who have put their hearts into creating great tools for artists.”
The digital version of this edition of TIME is available now, and the print version will hit stands on May 10th.