A Rockstar's Journey​

a Rockstar's Journey

Through the eyes of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and Stone Temple Pilots
MINT DATE:
TBD

Leading up to the eighteenth century the church commissioned the majority of art produced in Europe. In the nineteenth century, the antagonism between art and money changed the structure of the art world, where art became autonomous, in effect art became independent from the previous controlling powers like the  church, politicians, or the markets, and this new independence of art itself defined the period we call, “the modern art world.

 

During that time one of the most important writers in Europe, Victor Cousin, said the iconic phrase, “Art for art’s sake,” (l’art pour l’art) which defined the idealistic aesthetics of modern art. Philosopher Immanuel Kant elucidated this concept through his definition of “common sense” in his book, Critique of Judgment, published in 1790.

 

After the Second World War, the contemporary art period emerged through the works of artists such as Andy Warhol, who became famous for the reappropriation and artistic interpretation of common objects. 

Warhol, who was inspired by the legacy of Duchamp, would sign his signature on common objects such as cigarette boxes, food packaging, and paper money bills, which transfigured the previously common objects into art and thus increased the value of the objects. Similarly, Maurizio Cattelan transformed the ordinary banana into a work of art by duct taping a banana to a wall at Art Basel, the world’s largest art fair. The banana sold for $120,000.

 

As with many of the aesthetic lines of postmodernity, Marcel Duchamp is a pillar of the genre of Money Art, mainly for his work, Monte Carlo Bond (1924), where he released a series of artistic renditions of fake government bonds while he played roulette in Monaco. The fake bonds served as works of conceptual art, and in essence, mocked both the finance and gambling industries.

 

Similarly, artist Arthur Williams introduced a new concept around the relationship between money and authenticity. He is most known for counterfeiting the 1996-issued $100 Bill, with a level of quality that is on par with the supernote. Williams printed an estimated $10 million dollars before he was convicted of counterfeiting and sentenced to seven-year in prison. Williams studied art throughout his incarceration and managed to transfigure the place that counterfeiting occupied in his life. After being released from prison Williams started creating works of art around the concept of the artistic use of paper currency, similar to the bills that he had counterfeited. Williams creates works of art by reinterpreting images of $100 bills with famous images of celebrities in the media. 

 

In his new NFT series, Arthur Williams uses the self portrait photography captured by Scott Page while touring as the saxophonist of Pink Floyd in the 1987 album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Page captured his personal experience as a traveling band member. Pages’ photos and videos marked a turning point in the use of the camera and the role of the photographer.

 

The 1980s can be thought of as the era in which photography explored its relationships between the photographer, the photographed, and their audience. In the same period, artist Roberto Jacoby photographed the audience of his New Wave rock band, Virus, at their concerts in Latin America. Similarly, the French artist, Phillip Parreno, gave cameras to the audience in an art gallery and turned the photos taken by the audience into his own artwork. This piece inaugurated the artistic genre, Relational Aesthetics, a term baptized by Nicolas Bourriaud in his book with the same title, published in Paris in 1998. All of these works of art helped develop what we can define as the community photography experience, which now inspires Scott Page in his new endeavor to build community around non-fungible-tokens with his THiNK:NFT project.

 

Arthur Williams also highlights the serial nature of money, as well as the visual patterns as if they were a fractal kaleidoscope in photographs of the Rolling Stones and Stone Temple Pilots. Williams thus transforms the fungible character of money into the non-fungible character of tokenized art.

 

Arthur Williams artistic interpretation of forgery could be compared to Orson Welles’s documentary, F for Fake, which focuses on Elmyr de Hory’s career as a professional art forger, exploring the concepts of the authorship and authenticity of art, as well as the meaning of the value of art.

 

Arthur Williams not only talks about the enigmatic nature of money but also about the relationship between the original and the copy. Philosopher Walter Benjamin wrote an essay of cultural criticism, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1935), in which he explains that mechanical reproductions devalue the (uniqueness) of art objects.

 

Now with the power of blockchain technology, the “Aura” of fine art can include digital art because the code of an NFT guarantees the finite, unique character of the art, just as an original sculpture or painting is a unique art object.

 

Through his unique procedure in creating his art Williams not only harnessed the power of art to transfigure commonplace things into eternal existence, but he also used the immutable power of blockchain technology to encode the unique, non fungible experience with art and money. 

- Syd Krochmalny

About the Artist

Arthur J Williams Jr

Is a Master Counterfeiter turned world renowned Artist, Writer and Inventor. Featured on Forbes, Vice and subject behind Novel: The Art of Making Money. Arthur J. Williams Jr. is best-known for his successful reproduction of the “impossible to replicate” $100 bill in the United States in 1996. Williams printed an estimated $10 million dollars in fabricated money before landing himself in prison for nearly seven years. Throughout his incarceration, Williams furthered his talent by taking art classes, and studying the works of Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, attempting to combine their techniques with his talent. 

About the Artist

Scott Page

Is an American musician, technologist, and entrepreneur known for his saxophone and rhythm guitar work with Pink Floyd, Supertramp, and Toto. Page is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, in the Music Industry program. He is currently CEO of Think:EXP, a Los Angeles-based media company focused on live immersive entertainment. Page worked on and led a number of ventures, including Walt Tucker Productions, an audio video post production company that produced projects for The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson, Garth Brooks, Scorpions and others. Page co-founded 7th Level, Inc., a CD-ROM game and educational software company where he co-produced Tuneland, an interactive musical cartoon (starring Howie Mandel and featuring David Gilmour, the Monty Python interactive series, and was integral to the development of QD7, an interactive multimedia joint venture with Quincey Jones and David Salzman that resulted from Jones partnering with the company. 

About the Curator

Dr. Syd Krochmanly

Is an Argentinian artist, writer, researcher, writer, sociologist, professor, curator and musician. He did postdoctoral studies at Columbia University. He published seven books and founded two art magazines. He teaches, gives lectures, writes and show art in diferentes galleries, museums, universities in the world as Guggenheim, Reina Sofia, NYU, Edinburgh University, São Paulo Art Biennial, among others. In 2017 his artwork (an installation, poetry book, and theatrical performance) Journals of Hate was recognized by the art and intellectual community, and the City of Buenos Aires as one of the most relevant cultural contributions to Argentinian culture in the last decade 

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