Artist Gets Over $18,000 For Sculpture That Doesn’t Exist, Says It’s Invisible

Another 'immaterial' artwork by Salvatore Garau. Not the same artwork discussed in story. (Screenshot/Salvatore Garau via YouTube)

Andrew Jose Contributor
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A 67-year-old Italian artist has auctioned off an invisible sculpture for about $18,300.

The artwork “Io Sono” — which translates to “I am” in Italian — was made by Salvatore Garau, an artist from Santa Giusta, Italy, Newsweek reported. The sculpture is described as “immaterial,” meaning it does not exist, or if it does, it exists in its creator’s mind, reported

However, despite the criticism, the artist reportedly refuses to acknowledge that he is selling nothing. Instead, he argues that he is not selling ‘nothing’ but a “vacuum.” (RELATED: American City Unveils Unusual Statue Inspired By African Religious Art)

“The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight. Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us,” Garau said, according to Newsweek.

Garau provided instructions for placing his artwork, stating that it should be placed in a space free from any “obstruction” within a private house, Italy 24 News reported. The instructions said that the space should be approximately 150 x 150 centimeters, according to the outlet.

The only physical item the person who buys Garau’s artwork will get is the certificate guaranteeing the sale. The catalog, instead of showing a tangible piece of art, only shows an “absolute white space,” Italy 24 News reported.

“When I decide to ‘exhibit’ an immaterial sculpture in a given space, that space will concentrate a certain quantity and density of thoughts in a precise point, creating a sculpture that from my title alone will take the most varied forms. After all, don’t we give shape to a God we have never seen?” Garau told the outlet.

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A post shared by Salvatore Garau (@salvatore_garau)

“Io Sono” is but one of the “immaterial” artworks that Garau has created. In May 2021, Garau posted on his Instagram page a video of another immaterial artwork with the name, “Buddha in Contemplation,” installed in the Piazza della Scala in Milan.

The only thing visible in the exhibit is a taped-off square-shaped perimeter where the sculpture is supposed to be.