Famed British auction house Christie’s has announced the sale of its first non-fungible asset in the form of an art piece inspired by Bitcoin.
Referred to as “the largest artwork” in the history of Bitcoin, the piece titled the ‘Portrait of a Mind’ was created by art historian and blockchain-influenced artist Benjamin Gentilli. The monumental piece stands as the largest artwork relevant to cryptocurrency since the launch of the industry and is a massive series of 40 paintings spanning over 50 meters in length.
“Block 21 (42.36433° N, -71.26189° E)” the latest piece in the ‘Portrait of a Mind’ series is at Christie’s as part of its “Post-War and Contemporary Day Auction”. According to the auction house, the sale hit more than seven times it’s predicted highest value.
The concept behind the art is based on both the history of the story behind the launch of Bitcoin as well as 20th-century conceptualism. Gentilli created it by hand-painting the 12.3 million digits of the blockchain code that developed the cryptocurrency in an artistic transcription. To capture the essence of Bitcoin and the nature of cryptocurrency, Gentilli scattered the code into 40 fragments, drawing inspiration of decentralisation as no one individual will hold the code:
“In each work, an algorithm has found a set of hex digits that together are highlighted in gold. These read a set of coordinates that are unique to each painting. 40 locations across 40 paintings – each location is of particular significance to the history of Bitcoin.”
Gentilli is hoping that the sale of the piece at Christie’s, especially as a non-fungible token, will highlight the shift towards both blockchain technology and the adoption of cryptocurrency. He also hopes that it will encourage contemporary artists and investors to move to the space.