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Artist Sells 'Invisible' Sculpture for $18K

Someone just bought Salvatore Garau's 'immaterial' artwork, sight unseen
By Alan Smithee,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2021 6:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – As innovators try to take advantage of the NFT craze and come up with the latest digital asset to sell, Salvatore Garau's newest creation is a more old-fashioned piece of art that exists in the real world—kind of. The 67-year-old Italian artist has sold Io Sono ("I am") for just over $18,000, but the buyer won't ever be able to see or touch it, reports Artnet News. In fact, what Garau calls his "immaterial sculpture" has art connoisseurs "scratching their heads," WUSA9 notes. That's because it's invisible, though Garau insists his creation is more of a "vacuum" than ... well, nothing. "The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy," he tells Diario AS. "Even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight."

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For skeptics he adds: "After all, don't we shape a God we've never seen?" Io Sono was originally valued at between $7,300 and $11,000, but a bidding war drove up the price. Garau has gone the invisible route before, specifically with his Buddha in Contemplation sculpture that had a showing in a plaza in Milan, Italy, earlier this year, marked only by a taped square in the middle of a cobblestone walkway. Whoever bought Garau's latest piece does get a certificate of authenticity, as well as explicit instructions on how to display it: in a 5-by-5-foot space in a private home, with nothing obstructing gawkers' "views" of it. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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