First virtual gifting and sympathy flowers entered our world, and now Blockchain technology has made collecting expensive virtual art possible. According to Digitach, Forever Rose, a digital file created by Irish photographer Kevin Abosch and GIFTO, a decentralized universal gifting protocol, has been sold to a collective of investors for cryptocurrencies with a value equivalent to $1,000,000.
Although information about Abosch is scant, he considers himself a conceptual artist and has had exhibitions at the Millennium Park at the Bogot� Museum of Modern Art (an installation of 100 painted oil barrels) and has a portrait of Bob Geldof, Olwen Fou�r� and Brian O�Driscoll in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. In 2016 Abosch sold a virtual image of a potato titled Potato #345 for more than a million bucks. I watched him discuss the project on CNN and frankly it was a little like watching a mockumentary about the art world. Virtual transactions like this might seem ridiculous to painters who relish object, surface, and materiality, but apparently this type of project doesn�t seem as farfetched in the gaming and crypto currency industries.
Payments were made in IAMA and GTO-by-GIFTO cryptocurrencies, with each buyer paying the crypto-equivalent of $100,000 to get 1/10 of the ROSE on the Ethereum blockchain. Alas, traditional art collectors, none of whom are named among the buyers, must not have been moved by the project. The crypt-currency fans who did invest will be able to hold onto their Forever Rose tokens, sell them, or give them away. Doesn�t this type of project seem like a fantastic growth opportunity for name-brand artists whose work is already eagerly collected by the money laundering contingent? Minimal shipping costs and no storage necessary. Perhaps they can come up with an image that�s more challenging than a rose.