Italian Artist Sells an Empty Space for $18,000

June 9, 2021

An Italian artist has recently sold an “invisible and immaterial” sculpture – that is an empty space – for 15,000 euros, the equivalent of over 18,000 US dollars.

It is not a joke, it really happened: an Italian artist succeeded in selling an empty space. The immaterial and invisible sculpture titled, “Io sono”, (“I am” in English) by Salvatore Garau was sold to an anonymous buyer on May 18, 2021 in Milan for 15,000 euros or the equivalent of more than 18,000 US dollars.

Unlike digital art, Garau’s artwork is completely invisible and cannot, therefore, be reproduced physically or digitally. The artist argued that he did not sell “nothing” but instead sold a “vacuum.”

Since the artwork is physically non-existent, all the buyer received was a certificate guaranteeing that they indeed bought the invisible art. The buyer should still reserve a private space that is specifically 150 per 150 centimeters (five by five feet) for the sculpture, as per Salvatore Garau’s instructions.

“The good outcome of the auction”, Garau declared, “testifies to an irrefutable fact. 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. When I decide to exhibit an immaterial sculpture in a given space, that space will concentrate a certain amount and density of thoughts at a precise point, creating a sculpture that, depending on the title I give to it, will take the most varied forms.”

Italian news outlet