In the midst of the Bitcoin2014 conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, a local artist sold a painting for €10,000 in bitcoin.
The artwork, ‘Collaboration’ by Reinier van den Bezemer Schoonderwoerd, was purchased at a gallery in Amsterdam by a group of unnamed visitors during the annual bitcoin conference held last week, according to regional broadcaster Omroep West.
Van den Bezemer Schoonderwoerd told the media outlet that bitcoin is an alternative to the traditional banking system, which he says isn’t as trustworthy as a system built on digital currencies, adding:
“Banks are, in fact, not to be trusted.”
In the interview, Van den Bezemer Schoonderwoerd compared the process of mining bitcoin to gold, and cited the decentralized nature of the technology as a strength compared to fiat currencies like the euro.
About the artist
According to art dealer and gallery operator AaartNL, Van den Bezemer Schoonderwoerd is known in Dutch art circles for both his painted and sculpted works.
Born in 1949, the artist is a member of the Leiden Center for Visual Art and has taken part in numerous artistic endeavors in and around the Netherlands during the past 20 years. His works show an interest in animals, nature and human interaction.
In the case of ‘Collaboration’, the piece focuses on the relationship between people and finance.
Art, luxury and bitcoin meet
The sale of the artwork represents another step for the budding presence of bitcoin in the art world. In the past year, the digital currency has come to play a small but noticeable role in the purchase and sale of creative works.
In February, WeCoin88 announced that it would cut prices for art transactions made in bitcoin. At the time, the company said that it believed bitcoin would come to play an important role for its quick and anonymous transaction capabilities.
Bitcoin’s place in the art world isn’t limited to high-end purchases, however.
Last year, royalty-free artwork website VectorToons announced that it would begin accepting bitcoin payments. Owner Brad Gosse told CoinDesk that bitcoin is a “secure, legitimate currency”.
Image via Reinier-Art.NL