We've seen certain pieces of art fetch ridiculous prices on the blockchain as NFTs this year, but perhaps the most outrageous art purchase has been made in the physical space. Italian artist Salvatore Garau has been making headlines all week after one of his pieces, an invisible sculpture called Lo Sono (I Am), sold for over $18,000. The sculpture is not evident-- in fact, nobody can even see it. It's fully invisible.
The 67-year-old artist broke down barriers in the art world by auctioning off a piece for thousands of dollars, despite the sculpture not even existing. Garau would certainly disagree that the piece is non-existent as he has explained that he views it as a sort of vacuum.
"The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight," he said to Italian outlet Diario AS. "Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us."
The buyer of Lo Sono was not identified. The sale came with instructions on how to display the invisible sculpture in your private home, clarifying that it must be displayed in a roughly five-by-five-foot space free of obstruction. The buyer also got a certificate of authenticity.
"When I decide to ‘exhibit’ an immaterial sculpture in a given space, that space will concentrate a certain amount and density of thoughts at a precise point, creating a sculpture that, from my title, will only take the most varied forms," continued the artist. "You don’t see it but it exists; it is made of air and spirit. It is a work that asks you to activate the power of the imagination, a power that anyone has, even those who don’t believe they have it."
Would you pay $18,000 for a sculpture that's not actually there?