Italian Artist Sells Invisible Sculpture For $18,300

June 3rd, 2021 - 11:26 AM EDT by Adam Downer

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salvatore garau

To paraphrase Taylor Swift, Italian artist Salvatore Garau has a blank space, and he sold it for $18,300.

Garau recently sold a piece called "'Io sono' (I am)," which is an immaterial (aka invisible) sculpture. While the art world is no stranger to extravagant sales of gag pieces, Garau is deeply philosophical about his piece.

"The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy," he says in an explanation that is frankly a masterclass in upselling. "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."

"When I decide to 'exhibit' an immaterial sculpture in a given space," he continues, "that space will concentrate a certain amount and density of thoughts at a precise point, creating a sculpture that, from my title, will only take the most varied forms. After all, don't we shape a God we've never seen?"

The piece opened at auction at 6,000 euro, but a flurry of bids drove the price to 15,000. It is meant to be displayed in a 5′×5′ space free of obstructions. Lighting and climate control are optional, as the piece cannot be seen anyway. The buyer will receive a certificate saying they are the owner of the piece.

As the news spread online, social media users quickly took to firing off their best jokes about the sale of an invisible sculpture.

It just goes to show the human brain is truly a remarkable thing, and the power of words and imagination is really all it takes to make a huge sale in the art world. Congratulations to the buyer, whom we can only assume bought the piece literally thinking, "Wow, it's f***ing nothing!"

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