Salvatore Garau sold air for almost $20,000 in the name of art.
The Italian artist has been making waves over the past few days with his boundary-pushing piece titled “Lo Sono (I Am),” which recently sold for more than $18,000. Though that price is relatively low in the art world, it’s pretty significant when you consider the work is an “immaterial sculpture,” meaning someone dropped thousands of dollars on an invisible piece that is literally made of nothing.
According to ArtNet, “Lo Sono” went up for sale last month at the Italian auction house Art-Rite. The invisible sculpture was expected to rack in between $6,000 and $9,000, but the hype surrounding the item pushed the final selling price to $18,300.
Garau spoke to Italian outlet Diario AS about the piece, saying he likes to think of the sculpture as a “vacuum.”
“The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight,” he explained. “Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.”
The buyer of “Lo Sono” has not been identified, but will reportedly receive a certificate of authenticity as well as a set of instructions on how to display the work. ArtNet reports the owner is encouraged to exhibit the invisible work “in a private house in a roughly five-by-five-foot space free of obstruction.”
The concept of “Lo Sono” is similar to Garua’s previous piece “Buddha in Contemplation,” another invisible sculpture that was “displayed” at the Piazza Della Scala in Milan.
“You don’t see it but it exists; it is made of air and spirit,” he said in a video showcasing the piece. “It is a work that asks you to activate the power of the imagination, a power that anyone has, even those who don’t believe they have it.”
We need to start making some art, clearly.