A painting by the great Impressionist Claude Monet was sold at Sotheby’s yesterday for $50 million. It appears that an artist, collective, or company looking to capitalize on the attention garnered by the sale has left three digital artworks outside Sotheby’s. The display screens have since been removed, but the mystery surrounding their origin and intention has sparked some curiosity.
Awaited Monet sale drew a higher price at auction than expected.
If someone was looking to draw attention to their Monet-inspired digital art, they chose the perfect time to do so: Claude Monet’s Coin Le Bassin aux Nymphéas (1918) was just auctioned for the first time in 25 years. Often considered the father of Impressionism, Monet was known for his abstract and vibrant depictions of sublime natural settings.
Coin Le Bassin aux Nymphéas is a prime example of the artist’s signature style. The work is a lush depiction of the artist’s lily pond that is bursting with a strange and singular beauty. It is part of the artist’s much beloved “Water Lilies” series, and as such, drew a higher than expected price at auction: though the work was estimated to sell for $40 million, its actual sale price was over $50m.
Photos of Sotheby’s show three large displays positioned in front of the entrance.
The digital screens found before the auction feature unique digital renditions of Coin Le Bassin aux Nymphéas. The works are done in a kind of minimalist, layered color style, each with its own color scheme. Each image is digitally framed in classical gallery-style frames of red, green, or blue, with flames of the same hue filling the background.
The top of each image gives us our clearest and – at first glance – most promising clue: the words “Crypto Lilies” and “Deafeye Fine Art” appear in classic rock style font. We can assume “Crypto Lilies” to be a title for the series of works – clearly a play on Monet’s “Water Lilies” – leaving “Deafeye Fine Art” to refer to the artist or group that created them. However, the rabbit hole doesn’t end there.
What are the Crypto Lilies all about?
The discovery of the Crypto Lilies prompted obvious confusion. No one seems to know who’s behind the Crypto Lilies, who Deafeye Fine Art might be, or their intent behind the works.
With the timely presentation and conspicuous titling of the Crypto Lilies, one’s mind may jump to some form of advertising – but there’s a problem with that theory: there doesn’t seem to be any detectable trace of “Crypto Lilies” or “Deafeye Fine Art” anywhere online. If they want people to buy something, they sure aren’t giving any clues as to what or where.
Where will Deafeye Fine Art strike next?
Deafeye Fine Art, whoever they may be, didn’t leave the public much to go on to find them or their Crypto Lilies. Will we find more Deafeye Fine Art at high-profile art exhibitions or auctions? It’s possible, but until then, the ball is in their court. If we can expect anything from Deafeye Fine Art, we can expect them to keep the public guessing.