Ry David Bradley on the Gap Gallery Present in NY – WWD

It’s a classic quantum thought experiment: If a work of art is hanging on the wall of a gallery and also online, what is the original work of art?

For the artist Ry David Bradley, the answer is: time will tell.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not up to me to choose,” says Bradley from his London studio. Behind him hangs one of his works, a woven piece that he originally designed as a digital file. “If the file lasts longer there than this thing behind me, then the only thing left is the file. And that will be the original. And if this takes longer because there’s a magnetic storm and all the hard drives go away, that’s the original. And that happens over time. It could take hundreds of years for this to happen. “

Before that happens, Bradley’s digitally born tapestries can be seen in “Once Twice” at The Hole in downtown New York alongside hand-blown glass sculptures by Hanna Hansdotter. Bradley’s grayscale wallpapers show human faces distorted to anonymity. he describes them as painted portraits for the 21st century. Similarly, Hansdotter’s work takes up classic materials and reinvents them through a contemporary lens.

Interested collectors can purchase Bradley’s physical works and also purchase the digital works of art as NFT (Nonfungible Token) via the SuperRare digital art market using the cryptocurrency Ethereum. (The physical art can be purchased in US dollars or in Ethereum at the gallery. His work is also exhibited virtually through Decentraland.) Bradley’s first NFT artwork, on sale as part of The Seer exhibit, recently went on sale for 10 ($ 19,119) sold. to the buyer @fastackl. According to SuperRare records, the buyer has spent the equivalent of over $ 400,000 collecting NFT artwork in the past 30 days.

What is the best buy for someone interested in buying the original version of one of their works? “If I really wanted to own this [work]”Says Bradley.” I would want both.

Installation view of “Once twice”.
Image courtesy The Hole NYC.

Installation view of “Once twice”.
Image courtesy The Hole NYC.

In early March, Christie’s will be the first major auction house to sell an exclusively digital piece by artist Mike Winkelmann. The art world has been buzzing with NFTs lately. Is it a gimmick, is it a bubble, or is it the future?

NFT art collectors purchase encrypted digital files. This exchange is recorded in a decentralized general ledger as proof of ownership. When it seems unthinkable to pay so much to own a piece of art that can only be seen on your screen – that others can easily take screenshots, at least for the moment – the doubts may think of a time when another ubiquitous digital activities seemed to be on the sidelines: dating, shopping, blogging.

“We seem to be witnessing a move away from objects and more from experience,” says Bradley, who has been interested in the interface between art and digital space for many years and has been using cryptocurrency in projects for around seven years. “We are moving into a short-lived, digital world in which subscription fees are paid without physical goods.

“Back then it was kind of illegal with the Silk Road and all that stuff. It was our first introduction to the entire crypto world, ”he adds. “There was always this speculation that these worlds would come into being and that cryptocurrency would do all of these things in the future. It was all a guess back then, but now it’s actually happening, and now it’s almost that undeniable part of this decade. “

At the moment digital art has a certain homogeneity – it is often based on memes and is rooted more in a “lolz” aesthetic than in an academic investigation. (Though some of it reflects a high level of computational design skills.) Artists like Bradley, who are part of the gallery art world (and certainly Tony auction houses like Christie’s), can add legitimacy and aesthetic diversity to NFT collecting given current price tags more digital Artists some may not be too excited to welcome the art world establishment into their ranks. But even these artists might find an advantage to the crossover: Bradley asked some digital artists if this is their first time performing in a gallery.

He’s interested in digital art and authenticity issues, but Bradley also values ​​the classic, physical manifestation and presence of his practice in a gallery. Casual visitors with no knowledge or interest in the crypto world can step into The Hole and appreciate the art that lies ahead as they see it.

Installation view of “Once twice”.
Image courtesy The Hole NYC.

Installation view of “Once twice”.
Image courtesy The Hole NYC.

Installation view of “Once twice”.
Image courtesy The Hole NYC.

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