“It’s important that artists capture a certain kind of moment in cultural and technological evolution,” says curator of digital art the Whitney Museum of American Art. The cultural evolution charts a course to the crypto future. In this post, I will take a look at multiple pieces of art inspired by or dedicated to cryptocurrency.
Last month Michael Jackson (no, not that one) has purchased a symbolic sculpture: he spent $400,000 on a 10-foot-long (around 3 meters) neon sign that consists of 42 letters and numbers making up a blockchain address. The work is called “Yellow Lambo” and refers to the iconic car. “A Lambo in real life is something the guys want to look up to. They are only doing it to show off, it symbolizes wealth. But a token – no one can see it,” he explains.
Once JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman Jamie Dimon called crypto a “terrible store of value”, an artist responded with a painting with the same name. It depicts Dimon and presents a “terrible store of value” itself via integration with a bitcoin wallet. Value can be added, stored and removed from the piece at will without the oversight of any central authority. According to the artist’s website, the artwork is certifiably authentic via the blockchain. The painting was sold for $33,000 earlier this year.
Abosch, who created the Yellow Lambo, made a blockchain-registered share of “The Forever Rose”, another work of art worth $1 million. And yes, it is a digital photo of a flower. The piece will be exposed in the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia starting May 24.
Another crypto-inspired work of art is an abstract oil pastel painting posted by Marguerite deCourcelle 3 years ago. The piece is named “The Legend of Satoshi Nakamoto” after the mysterious creator of blockchain and bitcoin. The picture contains clues to unlocking about 5 bitcoins. This February a winner claimed the funds worth about $45,470 and called it “a breathtaking and dramatic experience.”
So, why does this art make so much sense today? “A lot of people were looking for ways to spend their cryptocurrencies,” Lynx co-founder Frank McKeever said. “They want something cool to buy that can also represent what they like and what they believe in. It’s our most popular category.”
This kind of art, as an evolving track of contemporary art, provokes so many questions about its actual value. Yet I should say: art that doesn’t make us question – doesn’t make us admire.