The NFT madness is showing no signs of slowing down, as following the news that the Russian Hermitage Museum is going to auction NFTs of work by Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet and Kandinsky (but not the actual physical artwork, you understand), it’s now been announced that NFT platform Valuart is auctioning an NFT of Banksy’s work, Spike.
Wait, what? A digital, non-fungible token (so, a unique digital image) of the rock will be auctioned, and bids are currently around the $11,000 mark. So what will the ‘winner’ receive? A digital file showing the Spike rock spinning in 3D. Much like this replica below. Which is not The Original, but a screenshot, and therefore not up for auction, and essentially worthless.
You can have a look at the swirly 3D rock and the accompanying music here on the auction website, if you're that way inclined.
The winner also receives one (1) trip to go and visit the physical artwork in Switzerland, where it shall remain at the Valuart NFT Gallery in Paradiso. They will have bought an NFT, not the actual physical artwork.
So, what is Spike all about? In 2005, Banksy lobbed off a piece of the wall that made up the Israeli West Bank Barrier, wrote a word on it (spoiler, that word was SPIKE) and then launched a ‘treasure hunt’ for the rock. The first person to find the rock and email Banksy with the secret word, would win the original Banksy artwork.
Images from Valuart
Spike is currently owned by Italian opera singer Vittorio Grigolo, who worked with Valuart to create the NFT offering.
The official auction website states that “Valuart is proud to now enable the rebirth of this extraordinary piece of art as an NFT Artwork.
“The Spike by Banksy NFT Artwork presents an astonishing environment produced by Valuart, created by combining cutting-edge CGI with a breathtaking aria, ‘E lucevan le stelle’, performed by Vittorio Grigolo himself.”
The mind, as often, boggles.
Are NFTs a legit form of artwork? Could you just right-click, save and print and be much better off (and richer) than if you’d purchased one? Are NFTs a long-needed way for artists to make money, or are they a scam for the uneducated? Pop a comment below and share your thoughts.