Digital artist ‘Beeple’ to hold Charleston museum grand opening
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A new art gallery opening this weekend in the Lowcountry is gaining worldwide attention. It’s an attempt to display emerging digital art in a physical space.
Until now, most people could only see art by “Beeple” on their own digital devices. The artist, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, said this new space is an effort to show how digital art is just another form of expression.
Winkelmann entered the spotlight in 2021 when the “non-fungible token” – or NFT – of his artwork sold for more than $69 million at a Christie’s auction.
The new space, off Clements Ferry Road, is 50,000 square feet. It neighbors warehouses and distribution centers.
Inside, there are multiple working studios, a gallery, and a space for experimentation.
Winkelmann said he’s trying to walk a fine line between art that’s engaging enough that it pushes visitors to think, without being esoteric.
“There’s enough here that people would find something familiar to them in like an art experience,” Winkelmann said. “And then there’s enough here where it’s like, ‘well, that that is certainly a new art experience that I never had before.’”
Art collectors will be descending on Charleston for this grand opening Saturday, including James Tierney who lives in Pennsylvania. He said he’s excited that the studio offers a place for the digital art community to be together.
“I’m interested in meeting a lot of people that I’ve connected with through Twitter, and I’ve never really met in real life,” Tierney said.
Pushing back on recent criticism of the economics of NFTs, he said: “if you’re not in it just to try to make a quick buck, if you’re really getting to know people and learn the art, it’s still a great, great community.”
After this weekend’s grand opening, the studios will open to the general public for limited times, which will be announced on their website.
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