The Museum on Non-Visible Art, or MONA, houses a variety of non-visible works of art that can only be admired by reading the artist’s description. Sounds weird, but believe it or not, someone actually paid $10,000 for one of these ‘masterpieces’.
I have to admit I’ve always wondered why some people spend thousands, sometimes millions of dollars on abstract art pieces that look like the work of someone who has nothing in common with art. But then again, I’m not very art-inclined. Anyway that doesn’t seem so strange to me anymore, not since I read this article about a woman who paid $10,000 for an artwork she can’t even see. “Fresh Air” was just one of the works exhibited at the Museum of Non-Visible Art, a strange project supported by actor James Franco that tries to take conceptual art to a whole new level. There is an official website and even an explanatory video, but basically this museum hosts works of art that don’t exit in the physical world, instead they are imagined by the artist.
So when someone buys one of these unusual creations all they get is a card with a description of the artwork made by the author and a letter of authenticity. You can place the card on a blank wall in your house or an art gallery and describe it to visitors, so they may enjoy it as well. Here’s the description for Fresh Air, the recently sold artwork:
A unique piece, only this one is for sale. The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it. Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountain tops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.
The non-visible artwork was acquired by Aimee Davidson, a new media producer, who, in an interview with Huffington Post, explained why she spent $10,000 on an art piece she can only imagine:
As a new media producer, I identified with the ideology of the project and was particularly inspired by the sentence, “We exchange ideas and dreams as currency in the New Economy.”
Social media, which is integral to “the New Economy” of the Internet, post Web 2.0, has revolutionized how artists create, promote and sell their works of art. I felt that the act of purchasing “Fresh Air” supported my thesis about a concept I term “you-commerce,” which is the marketing and monetization of one’s persona, skills, and products via the use of social media and self-broadcasting platforms, like Franco’s use of the crowd funding platform Kickstarter to fund the Museum of Non-Visible Art. Essentially, I wanted to put my money where my mouth is.