Books & Art

A Man Is Suing an Artist Over an Invisible Sculpture, Claiming He Thought About It First

Surprisingly, invisible art is nothing new.
IMAGE SHUTTERSTOCK
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Remember back in June when Italian artist Salvatore Garau made headlines for an invisible sculpture that sold for $18,300 on auction? And, by invisible, the piece was literally made out of nothing. It was wild. Well, just when we thought things couldn't get wilder, a Florida man is now suing Garau saying that he did the whole invisible schtick first.

In 2016, Florida-based multidisciplinary performance artist Tom Miller installed his invisible sculpture Nothing in Gainesville's Bo Diddley Community Plaza. "The space in our world is legitimate to work with as an artistic product. So the idea is fashioning nothing into a sculpture, and that's what the lawsuit is all about," he said.

"When I saw that I thought 'that's exactly my idea' and ideas are important in the world, and recognition for those ideas are important. So, I simply wanted that attribution so I contacted him, he dismissed it away, and then I hired an Italian attorney," Miller said in an interview with WCJB.

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While Miller's point stands, it's interesting to note that invisible art is nothing, excuse the pun, new. Back in 1958, Yves Klein exhibited an empty gallery space. Then, in 1992, Tom Friedman installed an invisible object "above a pedestal cursed by a witch."

So, let's get this straight: two men are in legal battle over... nothing. Nada. A piece of air. Sounds about right considering the times we currently live in.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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