Since we’re on the topic of serious, on a serious note, cryptocurrency is having a bubble right now, and so are NFTs (non-fungible tokens, unique digital pieces on the blockchain). Anyone who’s anyone or has money to burn is throwing said money (of the real kind) into cryptocurrency, which they then invest in NFTs. The market is already saturated, but booming because, we keep hearing from the same proponents, the future is digital, tech-packed and, incidentally, very costly.
This is not a joke, though many chose to describe it as tomfoolery of the most bitter kind. We’d wager it’s more like queen-stunting for the artsy-pantsy type, but artist Niclas Castello would rather we called it a PR stunt meant to attract attention to his new cryptocurrency and upcoming NFTs.
The cube is actually a gold sculpture called the Castello Cube and, while it’s made of real, 24-karat, 999.9 fine gold, it is not solid gold. It has a hollow center, but still weighs a lot and “ate up” countless gold bars bought by Castello from a UBS Bank in Switzerland. The NY Times notes that he pre-sold many of his upcoming Castello Coins in order to secure the funds for the gold, in what is a very meta and possibly very efficient method of advertising.
The sculpture was made at the Art Foundry H. Rüetschi in Aarau, Switzerland, where they had to hand-build a kiln big enough to fit the large volume of gold that had to be melted. Castello was on had at all times, supervising the project and adding the finishing touches, like an engraving that states the year of the sculpture and includes his initials. The whole thing took 4,500 hours to make.
all the more special because he had no intention of selling it and, quite possibly, to display it again.
Reactions to the gold Cube vary, ranging from awe from the art community, to praise and admiration from some, and outrage from the majority. Some people love to watch the world burn, as Alfred told Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight. Castello likes to watch the world burn and rub everyone’s face in because he’s not going down with it, the harshest critics are saying.
At the end of the day, art is meant to be divisive and, from this perspective only, the Castello Cube makes for a good piece of art. But it’s still funny to see how, in order to bring to attention supposedly-invaluable, must-have digital assets like crypto and NFTs, we’re still stuck with the oldest trick in the book. Queen-stunting 101, but with a dash of flashiness.
I had a friend who lived with his dog, Cookie, in the rock formations at Central Park. When Cookie got sick, there was only one vet who’d treat her for free, so every day he walked 100+ blocks to the Bronx because he couldn’t afford subway fare.— Sarah McGonagall (@gothspiderbitch) February 3, 2022
But sure, let’s add a gold cube. https://t.co/ANbdpAyYJG