NFT Artist Beeple's $29M Human One Sculpture Makes U.S. Debut at Crystal Bridges Museum
This Friday, visitors of the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, will have the opportunity to see Human One (2021), the first sculpture made by digital artist Mike Winkelmann, otherwise known as Beeple.
The opening marks the first time the piece is coming to the United States since it was sold at Christie’s in 2021 for an eye-watering $29 million.
A Journey Across the Globe
Human One was bought by Swiss venture capitalist Ryan Zurrer who has since become well known for his efforts to create relationships between the digital and traditional art worlds.
With Christie’s, he has been involved with philanthropic auctions to benefit his nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and he has also lent Human One to art institutions around the world.
“We are very excited and deeply honored to work with Crystal Bridges for the American debut of HUMAN ONE,” said Zurrer.
“Audiences will be captivated by the remarkable detail and innovative mixture of technology and craft that makes Beeple such a renowned artist.”
The work has thus far traveled to the Castello di Rivoli in Italy and the M+ Museum in Hong Kong.
It was in Hong Kong, in fact, that LGDR sold the sister piece of Human One, S.2122 (2023), to the Deji Art Museum in Nanjing, China.
Now, Human One is coming to Arkansas, where the work will be on view until January 2024.
An Astronaut’s Journey in Art
The piece, a rectangular box fitted with screens, shows an astronaut pacing through various landscapes.
Winkelmann has control over what is being displayed on the screen and has plans to utilize this control to create a game for Crystal Bridges attendees.
He has created a scavenger hunt — visitors who identify clues hidden within the artwork will be able to unlock NFTs the artist has created in his studio in North Carolina.
“A traditional work of art is more akin to a finite statement, frozen in time at the moment it was completed,” said Winkelmann.
“With the ability to update this artwork, it is more akin to an ongoing conversation that I can continue to add new meaning to over time.”
Enhancing the Artistic Experience
The partnership between Beeple and the Crystal Bridges Museum opens new horizons for art enthusiasts and collectors alike.
As visitors marvel at Human One’s depiction of an astronaut’s journey, they will also have the chance to uncover hidden secrets through the interactive scavenger hunt.
The American debut of Human One further solidifies Ryan Zurrer’s commitment to bridging the gap between digital and traditional art worlds.
With his philanthropic efforts and support for non-profit organizations like MAPS, Zurrer is actively shaping the future of art’s accessibility and impact.