Digital-only cryptocurrency artwork set to sell for £ 200,000
A digital work of art that only exists as a high-resolution file by British artist Adrian Chesterman, and that shows the parallel between traditional money and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is expected to exceed its reservation price by £ 120,000.
The Crypto Train, which is now the subject of an online auction specializing in the hottest new investment trend, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has been viewed by several of the top clients of its owners before being put online.
NFTs are digital collectibles that are encoded on a blockchain – the same technology cryptocurrencies work on – creating a unique digital watermark indicating ownership and digital rights to that collectible.
In recent months, many renowned artists and musicians, as well as global sports franchises and fashion brands, have launched their own NFTs. In April, the auction house Christie’s sold a digital-only work of art, and it became the third most expensive work ever sold by a living artist.
“Even before The Crypto Train was put up for auction, we received significant offers from crypto enthusiasts and investors in Silicon Valley, who currently seem to best understand this explosive trend in virtual investments,” said Stephen howes, Director of Thomas Crown Art, a leading independent international arts agency.
He continues, “They know – as most of the big global brands are only beginning to know – that NFTs are an investment megatrend of the decade. It’s the next step in art history and they don’t want to miss the early adoption stage. That’s why they showed great interest ahead of the auction, probably hoping to get a good deal. “
Howes explained that pre-auction interest suggests the work will exceed its £ 120,000 reservation tag. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it finally sold for £ 200,000 +, such is the demand,” he said.
The interest is not only motivated by the investment potential. As a work of art, it is a fascinating piece that depicts the unprecedented battle for dominance between traditional currencies and cryptocurrencies in an increasingly digitalized global financial system.
The crypto train
Digital work, internationally renowned artist Adrien chesterman (London, 1955) states: “My mission was to create a visual metaphor that could bridge the historical distance between traditional monetary mechanisms, such as gold and coins, and the new virtual world of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“I considered that a locomotive was the perfect vehicle to represent such a metaphysical journey, given that it is a fast earth machine that pushes relentlessly in one direction…. forward. A mechanical beast that is powerful, unstoppable, magnificent, artificial yet inherently beautiful.
He goes on to add, “Wealth and its material presentations, such as gold, coins, banknotes and crypto, are all functional only by the consent of society. They only have “value” because we all agree that they should be of value as such. Therefore, cryptocurrency has the same effective value as any of the others, even gold which of course has no intrinsic value. We have imbued them with monetary value, just like banknotes, coins and crypto, by mutual consent. This is why the monetary representations contained in the image are semi-transparent and nebulous, here but not here, ethereal but real. For now, anyway.
Chesterman had his first exhibition of paintings at Liberty’s on Regent Street while still at the Royal College of Art in London, progressing to exhibitions at the Center Pompidou in Paris, among other major international galleries.
A multi-talented artist, he worked on advertising art for Jurassic Park in Spielberg; the decor of Sunset Boulevard by Andrew Lloyd-Webber; advertising commissions for Coca Cola; original designs of theme parks in the United Arab Emirates and China; Spiderman Games for MGA in Los Angeles; illustrated with countless book covers, notably for Jackie Collins, Jack Higgins and Dick Francis; and he has illustrated numerous music album covers, including Bomber’s acclaimed cover for Motörhead, The Meaning of Life album and the Monty Python team’s book cover and the acclaimed album cover The Road to Hell for Chris Rea, among many other projects.
Regarding Chesterman’s digital artwork The Crypto Train, Stephen Howes acknowledges that there are still many skeptics of the NFT.
He asserts: “Those who overturned the idea of art only in digital form would have been those people who destroyed the potential of the internet in the 90s and who said that Amazon as an online retailer” does not. ‘will not impose “in the 2000s.”