Ashton Kutcher Burned an Original ‘Artwork’ to Promote a New Blockchain Marketplace Where Art Can (Kind of) Live Forever

The platform also offers digital works of art by Seth Green, Ryan Phillippe, and Skeet Ulrich.

Kutcher with his masterpiece. Courtesy of Cryptograph.
Kutcher with his masterpiece. Courtesy of Cryptograph.

Ashton Kutcher recently shared a video of himself setting fire to a piece of notebook paper on which he had drawn a collection of cartoon eyeballs and a one-stroke star.

The reason? To show that this “artwork”—and we’re playing extremely fast and loose with that term here— will still live on forever thanks to a new blockchain art marketplace, Cryptograph. And the digital copy, made after Kutcher took a low-res camera-phone photo of his creation, is now up for auction with a current bid of 9.8 Ethereum—or over $4,000.

Now, you’re probably thinking: “Am I being Punk’d?” 

Reader, I wish that were the case. I wish we could all go back to that time in our lives before we knew that this God-awful doodle, created by the guy responsible for the trucker hat revival of the early 2000s, lived on in the ether, literally unable to be destroyed. 

Alas, here we are.

Founded in 2018, Cryptograph is a blockchain technology that converts drawings into unique digital artworks. The appeal for prospective collectors, according to the company, is that the artworks can’t be copied, stolen, or destroyed.  

Kutcher’s doodle, titled The Eye of the Beholder, is a particularly meta take on this idea.

“Ashton here is probably playing on the idea that all art is subjective and that art wholly exists in the eye of its beholder,” the work’s description reads. “His idea here is to show that his physical creation is fully transcending into the digital realm, where its authenticity and immortality is absolute. This action is deeply symbolic and provokes one to think more on how the physical and digital realms can be combined in new and interesting ways.”

A drawing by Seth Green. Courtesy of Cryptograph.

A drawing by Seth Green. Courtesy of Cryptograph.

And Kutcher isn’t the only doodler to offer up his genius. On the platform, you can bid on artworks by what can only be described as a murderers’ row of celebrities: Skeet Ulrich, David Arquette, Paris Hilton, that guy from the Princess Bride. You can buy a digital illustration of a fireman rescuing a koala by Seth Green, a Matissian picture of a bunny by Erika Christensen, or a downright disturbing drawing of a man being burned alive on a beach by Ryan Phillippe.

A portion of all sales will be donated to charities of the artists’ choice. Kutcher’s proceeds, for instance, will go toward the Global Wildlife Conservation and Oxygen Seven.

The actor has put money toward multiple crypto-tech companies via his two investment firms, A-Grade Investments and Sound Ventures. He is not financially involved with Cryptograph, the company confirmed.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share

Article topics