A three-dimensional sculpture and generative video installation by digital artist Mike Winkelman, better known as Beeple, is now on display at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.
It’s the first time the artwork has been shown in the United States since it sold at a New York auction in 2021 for $29 million.
HUMAN ONE, a kinetic sculpture which consists of four large-scale video screens at 16K resolution, stays in perpetual motion as it depicts humanity’s first steps into the digital terrain known as the Metaverse.
The piece was previously on display during exhibitions at M+ in Hong Kong and Castello di Rivoli in Italy.
“As the first U.S. institution to show HUMAN ONE, we’re thrilled for our guests to experience this disruptive, groundbreaking work by Beeple,” said Xuxa Rodríguez, associate curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges. “He’s charting new territory for art creation by combining a virtual and physical existence – a metaphor for human progress.”
The artwork is linked to a non-fungible token (NFT) that lives in an online decentralized ledger, and Beeple has hidden clues within the piece that visitors can search for to unlock a suite of related NFTs.
“We’re deeply honored to collaborate with Crystal Bridges for the debut of HUMAN ONE,” said Ryan Zurrer, the the Swiss tech entrepreneur who now owns the piece. “The museum’s visitors will have the opportunity to celebrate one of the defining American artists of the digital age, while witnessing this progressive work evolve right before their eyes.”
HUMAN ONE is on view in the Contemporary Gallery at Crystal Bridges through January 2024. The installation is free to the public, and no tickets are required.