Italian artist Salvatore Garau just sold an invisible sculpture for $18,000. The work, titled Io Sono or "I Am," doesn't exist except in the artist's imagination. No, seriously.
According to Garau, the sculpture doesn't not exist per se, rather it exists in a vacuum, Newsweek reports. "The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy," Garau explained. "And even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that 'nothing' has a weight. Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us."
Per as.com, the sculpture's initial price was set between €6,000 and €9,000. However, the price was raised after several bids were placed. In the end, it reportedly sold for €15,000 (approximately $18,300) to an unnamed buyer – because who would want to be identified after dishing that kind of cash on invisible art?
Since you can't just imagine you paid, the buyer gets a stamped certificate for the payment proving that, erm, the nothing they bought does in fact belong to them now. With the NFT market reportedly on its knees, perhaps such conceptualizations could become the latest art fad.
Garau instructs that the sculpture will need to be displayed in an unobstructed area that is five feet by five feet. It should also be displayed in a private home. And it may be displayed in any light since it's not there.
This is not the first immaterial sculpture that Garau has created, although it is reportedly the first that he has sold. Last month, Garau displayed another immaterial sculpture titled, "Buddha in Contemplation," in the Piazza della Scala in Milan, near the entrance to the Gallerie d'Italia. Garau posted a video of the "statue" to his Instagram page, writing, "Now it exists and will remain in this space forever," says the video. "You do not see it but it exists. It is made of air and spirit."