Artist Narine Arakelian sells her eggs as an NFT at Art Basel
This shock NFT could take on a life of its own.
Armenian artist Narine Arakelian, 42, says her first NFT will be a painting entitled “Live” – which will include an embedded contract promising one of her eggs to the buyer.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a type of digital art form, created and verified as a unique artwork with blockchain authentication and bought and sold using cryptocurrency.
Arakelian says she fully expects the person who buys the NFT to conceive a child from her egg, adding that she hopes it will be bought by a couple who have had trouble conceiving.
“I am so happy to bring a child into the world through my artwork,” said Arakelian, who is mom to a 21-year-old son. “It’s a beautiful act of creativity to give the gift of art and life.”
“My artworks are all my children and the fact this one will actually produce a child is wonderful,” she continued. “The art will always mean so much to the buyer because it brought them their child! It will always carry that special memory.”
Arakelian also clarified that “the child will be a child once they are born, not a piece of art.”
Arakelian has been exhibiting a triptych titled “Love, Hope, Live” at Art Miami, one of the satellite fairs around the prestigious Art Basel Miami Beach. She will create the NFT from the “Live” portion of the painting.
Arkelian is a Siberian-born Armenian artist who splits her time between Los Angeles and Moscow. She graduated from the State Surikov Institute, Moscow in 2015 then completed a year-long internship at the Digital Arts Department at the Los Angeles Academy of Art.
Her art combines visual and performing arts using new digital technology, and focuses on social, cultural and political issues such as gender identity stereotypes and women.
Her previous work includes transforming the iconic 15th century spiral staircase of the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo in Venice into a striking multi-colored lighthouse at the Venice Biennale in 2019. She then put on a performance, in which she passed through the exhibition rooms and discarded elements of her costume until she was left naked.
NFTs were the hottest topic at Art Basel Miami Beach this week. Pieces to buy included Tina Turner’s Versace dress, “Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort offering works based on his life, and former Donald Trump fixer Michael Cohen putting his prison badge up for sale.
And – going where no one has gone before — the authentic signature of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry was coded into the DNA of a living bacterial organism and put on display at Art Basel.
The piece is dubbed the “first living, eco” NFT, as the art-infused bacteria was “created and stored on organic material” and “promises a net-zero” potentially “carbon negative environmental categorization,” according to a news release.