di Ivan Quaroni
He is the most influential artist of the crypto scene, who has become the emblem of a revolution that, as he said, has opened "a new chapter in art history." His name has been bounced on all the leading news channels as the author of "Everydays: The First 5000 Days", the third most expensive work of art in the world, after Jeff Koons' "Rabbit" and David Hockney's "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)," which was sold on March 11 at Christie's for the incredible sum of 69.3 million dollars, making him the most famous digital artist of all time and the first to reach the record for the sale of an immaterial work. His gigantic collage, composed of 5,000 images, each of which was created in one of the 5,000 days required to complete the entire work, not only surpassed Old Masters like Raphael and Titian in value but also set the pace in the long path of recognition of digital works, which, thanks to him, are now treated on the art market in the same way as traditional works. The person behind the pseudonym Beeple is Mike Winkelmann. Born and raised in North Fond du Lac, a small town in Wisconsin, Beeple began his career as an artist in 2007, when he created a portrait of his uncle Jim, the first of the images in "Everydays: The First 5000 Days." His imagery is influenced by mass culture, comics, cartoons, science fiction, as well as video games, and news. After a degree in computer science and an experience as a web designer, Beeple - a name borrowed from a stuffed animal from the eighties -, has dedicated himself to art with an exemplary discipline, creating a work a day for 13 years, using programs such as Photoshop and Cinema 4D. The result of such dedication, beyond his personal successes, has paved the way for thousands of digital artists snubbed by the old art system, which considered them little more than mere illustrators.
The work on display in this exhibition is GIGACHAD, a one hundred-piece video depicting Elon Musk walking a dog. The CEO of Tesla is represented with the muscular body of Gigachad, a meme character similar to The Incredible Hulk, accompanied by a dog of the Japanese breed Shiba Inu, a symbol of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency born as a joke in 2013, which developed rapidly thanks to the support of a community and which in January 2014 reached a market capitalization of $60 million. This work demonstrates how the crypto art world, both in images and content, is often self-referential.