Category Archives: Andy Warhol

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John McAfee Hooks up With Art Platform to Auction Picasso

Ex-security software guru, turned crypto and blockchain enthusiastic, not to mention a would-be presidential candidate John McAfee seems to be everywhere these days, hence his latest dip into the world of fine art.

In his latest role as blockchain influencer, McAfee is turning to the tokenization of classic paintings, with Picasso set firmly in his sights. To this end, he’s teamed up with Blockchain-based art investment platform Maecenas and ERC20 crypto exchange Ethershift in order to produce what is hailed as the first “perpetual digitalization and tokenization of a Picasso’s work of fine art.”

The team, codenamed “Project Phoenix,” plans to auction the as yet unnamed Picasso this December and has announced the event on the Maecenas website:

“The auctioning process will be executed using Maecenas technology. The newly created digital asset, the first of its kind, will be represented as a single ERC721 token for the digitalized artwork. A fixed number of ERC20 tokens will separately represent shared ownership in the physical asset.”

This is not the first of McAfee’s forays into the art world after Andy Warhol’s ‘14 small electric chairs’ were tokenized earlier this year with 31.5% of the painting’s value sold to investors who paid in either BTC or ETH. Maecenas offered immutable purchase history and ownership information on the Warhol, connecting investors and art dealers on the platform while running a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. McAfee was proud to announce his latest art coup on Twitter:

“I am helping to tokenize rare art objects – a groundbreaking Blockchain application. We will auction a tokenized Picasso at the end of December. This is our second tokenized painting. The first was a resounding success.”

With Project Phoenix soon to see its tokens available to the public on the Ethereuem blockchain, there is a risk that McAfee invites the usual “shilling” accusations from his critics – the spreading of positive information about a product which may or may not be accurate in order to gain investor interest. It has been noted that McAfee tweets about new blockchain enterprises or projects often lead to huge price gains, opening him up to accusations of manipulating investors.

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Artist Dubbed as Next Andy Warhol Sells Entire Collection for Crypto

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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Gallery Sees Crypto Payments Boost Sales by 427%

An online sales art gallery has seen its sales leap by 427% after accepting cryptocurrency payments three months ago, writes the Daily Hodl.

Lynx Art Collection, which sells a range of quirky and unusual pieces from embossed small panels to Bitcoin beach towels, says that it has seen its sales rocket since selling its first poster back in 2012. The site now takes an extraordinarily broad range of crypto payments amounting to 725 cryptocurrencies. Incredibly, the company still feels it would like to add more coins to its list of payment options.

The site has linked up with Coinbase Commerce in order to take the major currencies. Nano payment is also available by using QR scanning for quick purchases.

Perhaps the success of Lynx shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. There is now a kind of anti-financial- establishment trend which provokes a need to purchase Bitcoin-related pieces, however kitsch some of them might be (remember, the art is in the eye of the beholder). When JPMorgan Chase & Co Chairman Jamie Dimon recently called crypto a”“terrible store of value”, artist ‘cryptograffiti’ decided to produce his own artistic version of the description, as reported in Bitcoin News.

Terrible Store of Value’ is a portrait of a “disintegrating” Dimon – “mirroring the public’s trust toward traditional banking institutions”, according to cryptograffiti’s website – executed on a bank deposit box that’s connected to a Bitcoin wallet, reports Bloomberg. The piece eventually sold for GBP 33,000.

Add to this the artist Kevin Abosch of Yellow Lambo fame imprinting 100 physical artworks with the IAMA contract address on the Ethereum blockchain “corresponding to the creation” of 10 million virtual works titled ‘IAMA Coin’…using his own blood to ensure each coin literally was a piece of the artist as Abosch indicated.

If this might not be to the buyer’s taste, Andy Warhol may be, or perhaps a watercolor. Whatever one’s taste, cryptocurrency is becoming an increasingly popular payment method for art investors, and now that blockchain is being adopted to solve problems over copyright and provenance issues, it looks like crypto and art have made a match.


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