Artist Lincoln Townley, dubbed by Sir Michel Caine as the next Andy Warhol, has sold his entire collection of work for cryptocurrency over one weekend.
The London and LA-based artist’s client list reads like a who’s who in the world of music, sport and cinema with Sir Michael Caine, Al Pacino, Sting, Ronaldinho and Samuel L Jackson just some of those artists in their own fields proud to hang his work in their homes.
Townley has snubbed the traditional gallery route as point-of-sale and sold his collection through social media, insisting on cryptocurrency as payment. He’s not the first artist whose work sells for crypto but he may be the first to insist on digital currency as a preferred payment method. Many of the purchasers hadn’t even seen the work until after they had made payment, having only been able to view it via social media apps such as WhatsApp.
The artist says he is “shaking up the art world” by utilizing an entirely different method of viewing and paying for artwork, removing the middleman from the process. He spoke to the Daily Express about his thinking behind the move:
“There is no two ways about it. The people who invest in Bitcoin are without doubt speculators – they are looking at something with more of a risk… but that’s why I thought to myself, these are the sort of people that would be interested in purchasing my art as an extension to their investment portfolio… There are so many other ways to get sales with technology.”
Townley said that some of his collectors were also cryptocurrency enthusiasts and many were looking for an alternative way to diversify their digital investment portfolio by putting their assets into art, adding, “They are looking for a tangible asset they can put this newfound currency into.”
His latest collection, Behind the Mask, exhibits at the Biennale di Venezia on The Grand Canal in Venice next spring. Townley suggests that galleries could be overrated give his recent crypto sales success online. Artists should be looking at more innovative ways of promoting and selling their work:
“The best thing is it fuels my belief that galleries are secondary to an artist’s success – they just need to look at galleries as another string to their bow… I’m always looking at ways to do things differently in my route to market.”
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