NSFW Beeple NFT Donated To Italian Museum
In a time when the NFT market has gone quiet (with the collapse of the crypto world and the speculative bubble), the Castello di Rivoli Museum and artist Beeple (aka Mike Winkelmann) have brought some news to the traditional art scene. More than two years since the Christie’s sale of Everydays: The First 5,000 Days (2021) for $69.3 million, Beeple has decided to donate his latest work to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Turin, Italy,
Titled FTX Board Meeting, Day #5676 11.13.2022 (2023), the NFT is the artist’s first work to enter a museum’s permanent collection. In addition to ownership of the blockchain (the 1/1 NF), the museum also received an oil painting of the art piece.
The NFT in question is a hyperreal depiction of the server room of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange hedge fund FTX. The subject of the piece is the now disgraced thirty-one-year old entrepreneur and CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried.
In addition to the arrest last year (for wire fraud, money laundering, and misleading investors), more salacious claims were levied at Bankman-Fried. The NFT references the rumor that Bankman-Fried and his ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison had ‘cabal of roommates,’ engaging in sexual escapades at the office.
The racy work depicts multiple versions of Bankman-Fried in explicit orgiastic encounters with himself (the digital artist’s note for the NFT included the sentence “board-certified clusterfuck,”)
The museum director, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, described Beeple’s contribution to the collection. “Since May 1, 2007, Beeple has been producing and posting online a personally created image every day, in an exercise of rigor and measurement of the passage of time that recalls the conceptual practices of the 20th century, updated for the age of digital culture.” Now, in the present, the NFT “constitutes an important donation that updates our permanent collection with a work in a 21st-century medium that combines the digital with the physical.” For the museum, the NFT properly combines the digital and physical worlds of art.
Christov-Bakargiev pushed back against the claims that the artwork is crude, asserting that the NFT is “satirical,” “cathartic,” and “provocative.” She concluded that “Beeple’s seemingly pornographic image is also pointing to the childish, immature and narcissistic nature of the digital world.”
Sam Bankman-Fried is set to stand trial in October of this year and has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Feature Image Via Castello di Rivoli Museum