NFT Artist Beeple To Be Exhibited at Crystal Bridges – ARTnews.com


This Friday, visitors of the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, will have the opportunity to see Human One (2021), the first sculpture made by digital artist Mike Winkelmann, otherwise known as Beeple. The opening marks the first time the piece is coming to the United States since it was sold at Christie’s in 2021 for an eye-watering $29 million.

Human One was bought by Swiss venture capitalist Ryan Zurrer, who has since become well known for his efforts to create relationships between the digital and traditional art worlds. With Christie’s, he has been involved with philanthropic auctions to benefit his nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). At the same time, he lent Human One to art institutions around the world.

“We are very excited and deeply honored to work with Crystal Bridges for the American debut of HUMAN ONE,” said Zurrer in a press release. “Audiences will be captivated by the remarkable detail and innovative mixture of technology and craft that makes Beeple such a renowned artist.”

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The work has thus far traveled to the Castello di Rivoli in Italy and the M+ Museum in Hong Kong. It was in Hong Kong, in fact, that LGDR sold the sister piece of Human One, S.2122 (2023), to the Deji Art Museum in Nanjing, China. Now, Human One is coming to Arkansas, where the work will be on view until January 2024.

The piece, a rectangular box fitted with screens, shows an astronaut pacing through various landscapes. Winkelmann has control over what is being displayed on the screen and has plans to utilize this control to create a game for Crystal Bridges attendees. He has created a scavenger hunt — visitors who identify clues hidden within the artwork will be able to unlock NFTs the artist has created in his studio in North Carolina.

“A traditional work of art is more akin to a finite statement, frozen in time at the moment it was completed,” said Winkelmann in a press release. “With the ability to update this artwork, it is more akin to an ongoing conversation that I can continue to add new meaning to over time.”

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