Leading Auction House Christie's Listing Bitcoin Art for the First Time

The world’s largest auction house, Christie’s, will be presenting Bitcoin artwork for the first time. Block 21 of “Portraits of a Mind,” an art project showcasing the original Bitcoin code by Satoshi Nakamoto, will include a painting and a unique digital non-fungible token.

Bitcoin Artwork Arrives at Christie’s

Robert Alice, a blockchain art project, announced Wednesday the sale of a key artwork in the series entitled “Portraits of a Mind” at Christie’s, the world’s largest auction house. Portraits of a Mind is “a global art project to decentralise the founding code behind Bitcoin into 40 fragments,” its website describes.

“With 40 paintings stretching more than 50 meters long,” this work of art forms “a complete hand painted transcription of the 12.3 million digits of code (v0.1.0) that launched Bitcoin,” the announcement details, adding that this artwork is the largest in the history of blockchain technology. “A symbolic expression of decentralisation, once globally distributed, the project will draw up a global network of 40 collectors where no one individual will hold all the code.”

On Oct. 7, Block 21 of Portraits of a Mind, which includes a physical painting and a unique digital non-fungible token (NFT) representing the work, will be auctioned at Christie’s New York. It will be offered at an estimated $12,000 to $18,000. Prior to the auction, the piece will be exhibited from Oct. 1 to Oct. 6 in New York. alongside works by Monet, Picasso, Warhol, and Jackson Pollock.

Leading Auction House Christie's Listing Bitcoin Art for the First TimeBlock 21 of Portraits of a Mind to be auctioned by Christie’s New York on Oct. 7. The piece will be exhibited in New York from Oct. 1-6. Source: The Robert Alice blockchain art project.

The Robert Alice art project was founded in 2018 by London-based artist Benjamin Gentilli with the aim to “promote blockchain culture within the visual arts.” He solely created Portraits of a Mind over three years. It is the first work of art from the project.

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Specialist Vivian Brodie commented, “Christie’s and I are thrilled to be supporting this landmark blockchain art project with the sale of Block 21 from Portraits of a Mind in our October Day Sale in New York,” adding:

This is Christie’s first time presenting a work that explores crypto culture at auction and, as ever, we are very excited to welcome new audiences and collecting communities across the globe to Christie’s.

Blocks 0 through 20 of the series were offered privately early this year to select collectors, including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, Bloq chairman Matthew Roszak, Kinetic founder Jehan Chu, Digix founder Shaun Djie, and Coinscrum founder Paul Gordon. Block 21 is the first work from the project to be exhibited and offered for sale publicly. “The work is also linked to the Bitcoin blockchain, via a unique Opendime key in the reverse of each painting,” the announcement notes.

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