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EXCLUSIVE: Beeple Donates Artwork Featuring Disgraced Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

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EXCLUSIVE: Beeple Donates Artwork Featuring Disgraced Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

EXCLUSIVE: Beeple Donates Artwork Featuring Disgraced Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

  • Beeple donated the FTX Board Meeting NFT to Castello di Rivoli, Italy’s first Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • The NFT satirizes the rumors of Sam Bankman-Fried at the office of Alameda Research.

Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, one of Italy’s premier contemporary art museums, has made an exciting addition to its permanent collection with a generous donation from artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple.

The artwork, titled FTX BOARD MEETING, DAY #5676 11.13.2022, is a unique creation that exists both in the digital and physical realms. It comprises an NFT (non-fungible token) registered on the blockchain and a large oil painting on canvas.

Beeple’s Sam Bankman-Fried NFT Adopted by Italy

Beeple’s donation of the Sam Bankman-Fried-based art to the museum heralds a new era of institutional adoption of NFTs as a bona fide art medium.

In a statement, Carolyn Christov Bakargiev, the museum’s director, stated:

“For me, the collapse of the crypto world following the FTX scandal and the speculative bubble that exploded last year is one of the key moments of that world – it was like an atomic bomb going off in the crypto world.”

Through his work, Beeple employs the aesthetics of pornography and cartoonish digital graphics to criticize what he perceives as the adolescent recklessness and immaturity prevalent in the digital culture surrounding tech entrepreneur SBF.

Beeple, who has been creating and posting a new image online every day since 2007, has garnered a massive following on social media, with 2.4 million followers on Instagram, over 500,000 on Facebook, and more than 760,000 on Twitter.

For his part, the artist gained international recognition during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown when his artwork EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, a compilation of 5,000 images created over 15 years, fetched a record price at Christie’s auction. This event propelled digital art and the concept of NFTs, showcasing the uniqueness that each token represents through blockchain technology.

Explaining her selection of Beeple’s 1/1 edition, Christov-Bakargiev emphasized the artwork’s relevance within a broader art historical canon. “Beeple is interesting as an artist in a similar way to Andy Warhol […] Warhol was critiquing the consumer society around him […] Beeple’s work is particularly controversial in that community because he is an artist who critiques the digital world.”

To commemorate the donation, the museum will host a public conversation between Beeple, Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and curator Giulia Colletti, which will be live-streamed on YouTube. Following the discussion, there will be a book presentation and signing of Beeple’s first monograph, “Beeple: Everydays, the First 5000 Days,” at the Castello di Rivoli Bookshop.

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