Beeple’s New—and Very Risqué—NFT Is the Artist’s First Work to Enter a Museum’s Permanent Collection

The artwork is also the first NFT in Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Artte Contemporanea's collection.

Mike Winkelmann (Beeple), FTX BOARD MEETING, DAY #5676 11.13.2022 (2023). Censored version. Courtesy of Castello di Rivoli.

For an artist who jumpstarted the 2021 NFT boom, it’s taken Beeple a minute to enter a museum’s collection. But at long last, the wait is over. 

The Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Artte Contemporanea in Italy has welcomed the first NFT to its permanent collection—a racy work created and donated by Beeple. Titled FTX Board Meeting, Day #5676 11.13.2022 (2023), the work exists as both 1/1 NFT and an oil painting, and depicts, in Beeple’s hyperreal style, an imagined day in the server room of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX. 

“Beeple’s work,” said museum director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev in a statement, “constitutes an important donation that updates our permanent collection with a work in a 21st-century medium that combines the digital with the physical.” 

She added that the work depicts “a strong image,” which is an understatement. The piece portrays multiple versions of FTX frontman Sam Bankman-Fried engaged in intercourse with one another, a solipsistic orgy that nods to the rumored sexual dalliances between FTX’s staff members. An artist’s note on the NFT reads “board-certified clusterfuck.” 

Mike Winkelmann (Beeple), FTX BOARD MEETING, DAY #5676 11.13.2022 (2023). Courtesy of Castello di Rivoli.

According to the museum, the image had to be censored so it could be shared on the Castello di Rivoli’s YouTube channel. 

“Beeple’s seemingly pornographic image is also pointing to the childish, immature and narcissistic nature of the digital world,” said Christov-Bakargiev. “He questions the technology and the society that develops in relation to that technology, even as he uses its system and structures.” 

The gift follows Castello di Rivoli’s 2022 exhibition of Beeple’s Human One (2021), the world premiere of the artist’s video sculpture, which later traveled to M+ in Hong Kong.  

Castello di Rivoli is the latest museum to add NFTs to its permanent holdings in the wake of the depressed crypto market. The Buffalo AKG Museum of Art and LACMA in the U.S. have acquired sizable collections of NFTs, while earlier this year the Centre Pompidou became the first French national museum to acquire on-chain art.  

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