British artist Lincoln Townley, considered by many in the art world to be the next Andy Warhol, has just sold his entire art collection for cryptocurrency over the course of a single weekend, the UK Express reports. The artist, whose works have been collected by celebrities such as Al Pacino, Sting and football star Ronaldinho, evidently snubbed traditional galleries and auctions by selling all of his owned works through social media channels, primarily WhatsApp online messenger. Some of the buyers are reported to have not seen the pieces in person until after they had purchased them.
“I’m always looking at ways to do things differently in my route to market,” Townley told the UK Express.
“There is no two ways about it. The people who invest in Bitcoin are without doubt speculators – they are looking at something with more of a risk. But that’s why I thought to myself, these are the sort of people that would be interested in purchasing my art as an extension to their investment portfolio. The best thing is it fuels my belief that galleries are secondary to an artist’s success – they just need to look at galleries as another string to their bow…There are so many other ways to get sales with technology.”
Townley said he’s “shaking up the art world” by creating a community of digital buyers who contact him directly through social media, forgoing the traditional model of depending on galleries to serve as middle men.
Townley reports having no trouble finding cryptocurrency art enthusiasts; many of his most eager buyers were digital currency holders looking for a tangible way to diversify their digital investment portfolio.
Townley has always championed himself as an “art outsider”. The 45-year-old self-taught artist from the Borough of Hackney claims to have been rejected by the art world 93 times before finally breaking into the mainstream.
“The art old school cannot stand me,” Townley told the UK Telegraph. “They cannot stand me.”
You might say he’s just the kind of person who would be undeterred by the speculation and criticism thrown around by the mainstream media directed towards cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has lost roughly 70 percent of its value since its December 2017 highs, but it didn’t stop Townley from selling his entire collection for digital money. Clearly he’s optimistic about the future of the market.
“I think there is a huge market for expansion, with it being something that is going to inflate in value,” Townley said. “Therefore, inflating in value will give you more of a vehicle to purchase art in the future.”
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