Artist Ben Gentilli has spent three years working on 40 canvases that have become the greatest work of art on Bitcoin in history. Named „Portraits of a Mind“ in Portuguese, the Robert Alice Project artist painted the 12.3 million digit Bitcoin foundation code by hand.
He recorded on each of the 40 canvases 322,048 digits of Satoshi Nakamoto’s original code through specialized machines. The artist then painted each of the numbers by hand, a technique he called „fingerprint carved in ink,“ according to the artist.
In an interview with CNN, Gentilli said that „the central idea of the project was: ‚How do you do something of real cultural value within the Bitcoin sphere? The solution for him was to go back to the code base, ‚because it is really the basis of Bitcoin culture,‘ according to the artist.
The decision to divide the work into 40 canvases represents the decentralised essence of Bitcoin. It represents a symbolic expression of Satoshi’s original vision and, just as it is the cryptomeda, the work is divided around the world.
„Once distributed globally, these 40 pieces of code will decentralize the work of art, creating a global network of collectors, where no central authority will maintain the entire code,“ says the work’s web page.
Gentilli sold the first 20 paintings privately to collectors from the world of art and technology around the globe. These works are now located in 11 cities around the world, from Switzerland to Saudi Arabia, according to a project statement.
The artist is now expected to sell the second half of the work publicly. The remaining 20 canvases will go to Christie’s auction in New York on Wednesday night (7). The estimated price for the twenty-first work is between $12,000 and $18,000.