More Banksy news.
It is fair to say the art world has become insatiably fascinated by cryptoart, with Grimes pocketing almost $6 million after auctioning off several pieces of original digital artwork, and Miami-based art collector Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile sold an NFT for $6.6 million – 100 times more than the $66,666 he acquired it for in October. Damien Hirst also started accepting cryptocurrency as a way of payment for his latest cherry blossom prints.
And now, a blockchain company has physically destroyed a piece of art by Banksy in order to make its existence completely digital. The company in question, Injective Protocol, reportedly acquired the Banksy artwork titled Morons (White) for $95,000, which features an auction for a painting that reads, “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this sh*t”. Their next step was to set the painting on fire and livestream the destruction through the Twitter account BurntBanksy. It is now solely available as an NFT (non-fungible token) and can only be purchased and viewed digitally, presumably by morons. The artwork and the artist of choice have symbolic meaning, since Banksy is known in the art world for executing similar types of stunts.
As seen in the video below, a member of the anonymous group of self-proclaimed “tech and art enthusiasts” said that the goal of this stunt was to “inspire” technology enthusiasts and artists and to “explore a new medium of artistic expression.” He explains: “If you were to have the NFT and the physical piece, the value would be primarily in the physical piece. By removing the physical piece from existence and only having the NFT, we can ensure that the NFT, due to the smart contract ability of the blockchain, will ensure that no one can alter the piece and it is the true piece that exists in the world. By doing this, the value of the physical piece will then be moved onto the NFT.”
The NFT, which was minted on SuperFarm, will be auctioned on the OpenSea marketplace until 9 March.
Injective Protocol executive Mirza Uddin told CBS News, that the project is a validation of the blockchain’s ability to stand in for physical art assets. “We entirely recreate the physical piece and input specifications, such as the art version number into the smart contract code, so no one can ever alter the digital art in any way,” he said. “The physical piece will forever be memorialized in this NFT.”
It’s interesting to note that the Morons (White) print exists in copies of 500, so despite destroying the piece physically and metamorphosing it into an NFT, they haven’t actually removed the physical artwork from existence.