OG crypto artist Pascal Boyart (also known as ‘Pboy’) has unveiled his take on one of Michelangelo’s most popular works — the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel — and it’s entirely funded by cryptocurrency.
The Underground Sistine Chapel fresco is housed in a former gold foundry on the outskirts of Paris and took Pboy five months to complete.
“During lockdowns it was impossible to paint frescoes on murals in public space,” Pboy told Protos.
This interpretation of Michelangelo’s best-known work depicts scenes from the Old Testament, but with a hint of modernity thrown in to ‘anchor it in our time’.
To update Michelangelo, the artist skilfully worked modern objects such as a smartphone, a computer, and an ankle bracelet into the otherwise Renaissance-styled walls of the underground gallery.
The project has also been mapped in 3D, allowing viewers to experience its full scope — it covers 100 square meters and features over 400 characters.
Tokenize the Sistine Chapel?
Pboy funds his art with donations raised via QR codes embedded in his real-world pieces. Most notably in 2018, he received a whole Bitcoin at once, then worth around $4,000.
But due to a decrease in foot traffic caused by COVID-19 lockdowns, Pboy’s Bitcoin donations have dried up, prompting a slightly different approach.
“I don’t receive as much in donations as I did two years ago,” said Pboy. “Now, the money mostly comes via patronage funding and NFT pre-sales.”
It seems to be working. Pboy raised $20,000 in Bitcoin and Ethereum for his Underground Sistine Chapel installation, and sells tokenized versions of his real-world murals (among other works) for extra cash.
[Read more: Deadmau5 scores crypto-art stored on Ethereum]
In fact, NFTs are a burgeoning business for artists like Pboy. Earlier this week, Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland sold a collection of digital artworks titled The Best I Could Do for 1,300 ETH — around $1.65 million.
You can keep up to speed with Pboy’s crypto-fused art by following them on Twitter.