It has been reported that art historian turned blockchain artist Robert Alice has created “Portrait of a Mind,” a monumental series of 40 paintings stretching over 50 meters in length.
However, drawing on the history of 20th-century conceptualism as well as the founding myth of Bitcoin’s creation, “Portrait of a Mind” is a complete hand-painted transcription of the 12.3 million digits of the code that launched the cryptocurrency.
Alice said that by scattering the codebase into 40 globally distributed fragments, the project will “draw up a global network of 40 collectors where no one individual will hold all the code.”
“In each work, an algorithm has found a set of hex digits that together are highlighted in gold. These read a set of coordinates that are unique to each painting. 40 locations across 40 paintings – each location is of particular significance to the history of Bitcoin.”
Also, Alice said that he remains curious as to why much of the commemoration of Bitcoin emphasizes the publication of the whitepaper over and above the codebase itself, which, for him, is “the real historical document.”
According to the report, Christie’s will sell one painting from the series, “Block 21 (42.36433° N, -71.26189° E),” as part of its “Post-War and Contemporary Day Auction” on October 7, at the end of a week-long exhibition of auctioned works in New York. The piece includes a unique fungible token as an integral part of the work and will be offered at an estimated price of $12–18,000.
Early collectors of paintings from “Portrait of a Mind” include Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder and CEO of Binance and Matthew Rozsak, the Chairman of Bloq.
Alice said that by showcasing and selling an NFT at Christie’s, he hoped to spur other contemporary artists to take a look at the NFT space.
Thus, he said that aside from the creative inspiration artists can draw from cryptocurrencies’ complex cultural, technical, and politically dynamic history, NFTs can also give artists “more control and a better stake in their practice over the long term.