Whoever said art and bitcoin don’t go together? One artist is looking to prove that they’re the perfect couple and has taken on a rather ambitious project. Bitcoin consists of roughly 12.3 million nodes, and this artist – known as Robert Alice – has taken the time to hand paint each one of them across a series of 40 separate paintings.
Bitcoin Has Led to a Whole New Culture
This was clearly a project that took a long time. Three years to be exact, and one must wonder why an artist would spend so long painting a bunch of digits across so many individual canvases. Why not spend some time painting pictures of fields or flowers or the sky above? Why not a vast lake or a ship out at sea? Why not paint something… well… a little more artsy?
Alice says that he sees real value in bitcoin and believes it’s a tool that can potentially bring two worlds together, in this case culture and technology. He’s calling his series “Portraits of a Mind,” and engraved each painting with the code underlying bitcoin using “specialist machinery.”
In an interview, he discussed the ambitions and ideas behind such a huge project:
The core idea of the project was, ‘How do you make something of a real cultural value within the bitcoin sphere?’ For me, the thing I kept coming back to is this code base because it’s really the very basis of bitcoin culture.
As many as 20 of the now 40 paintings have already been sold by a London-based bitcoin enthusiast who simply goes by the name “Gentilli,” proving that art lovers can get a kick out of digital currency and vice versa. One of the first buyers was Jehan Chu, who runs a blockchain venture capital investment firm. After buying the artwork, he mentioned:
As an early bitcoiner, this is the first object I am proud to hang on my wall to signal my history in the bitcoin revolution.
One of the Greatest Inventions Ever?
Gentilli will now hold a public auction – set to begin on October 7 – as a means of selling off the remaining 20 paintings in Alice’s collection. Many of these works are expected to sell between $12,000 and $18,000 each. Gentilli put out the following statement:
There’s a perception, globally, that bitcoin kind of came from nothing. There’s this idea that [it] was invented by [an] anonymous person, and it has no basis in the past, [but Nakamoto’s whitepaper] will be one of the most important historical documents of the 21st century… Bitcoin is probably the biggest leap forward since Gutenberg’s printing press. I think it’s quite important to link it back to this sense of transcription and this sense of permanence, which you get with something like the Rosetta Stone, but is much harder to quantify visually and physically with bitcoin.