An Italian artist has sold his latest sculpture for $18,000. The catch? The artwork only exists in the buyer’s imagination.
We’ve all seen the blank canvases displayed at art in galleries, and digital artists are continuing to rake in millions of dollars by selling NFT artworks, but sculptor Salvatore Garau has taken things a step further by creating a sculpture that doesn’t exist in physical form, but instead is made from ‘air and spirit’.
The Io Sono sculpture – ‘I Am’ in English – recently sold for $18,000 (€15,000) to a private buyer, complete with a certificate of authenticity to prove to (non-)viewers that the vacant space in front of them is in fact the real deal.
Garau, 67, is originally from the island of Sardinia, and is well known in Italy for his abstract work, having displayed his art in several museums in Europe and at the prestigious Venice Biennale.
Despite not existing in a physical form, Garau insists that his sculpture is as real as any object we can see and touch, and instead was created as a ‘vacuum’, per HypeBeast.
The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that ‘nothing’ has a weight.
Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.
Rather than being a commentary on how people will pay for anything that comes with a prestigious label, Garau says that his sculpture is intended to reflect how humans give meaning to things they cannot see, in the same way that they ‘shape a god we’ve never seen’.
While the sculptor presumably won’t be too difficult to transport to its new owner’s home, the artist has given the buyer some important guidance on how best to ‘display’ the artwork. Apparently, the vacuum should be kept in a 5×5 foot square, in a ‘private space free from obstructions.’ Garau added that is doesn’t require any specific lighting or climate control, given that it’s, you know, there’s nothing actually there to preserve.
Garau has previously shown off his invisible artwork in public displays, including one piece, called ‘Buddha in Contemplation,’ which took the form of a taped-off square outside the entrance to the Gallerie d’Italia in Milan.
Featured Image Credit: Salvatore Garau/Instagram
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