Melancholia Bay - 1/1

With his new release Melancholia Bay, Michael Kutsche further explores the realm between figuration and abstraction, and his signature dystopian humor infused place he coins “digital limbo”: A featureless avatar with a head that seems to be reduced to an inflatable projection screen echoes a social media induced identity crisis. Deliberately digital pictorial elements seem to clash with traces of traditional painting, as if to poke fun at the romanticized but long overhauled image of the master painter in his messy studio.

4840

(including VAT)

Edition 1 of 5

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Melancholia Bay represents a continuation of the artist’s exploration of the realm between figuration and abstraction and the anachronistic story world which is set in the alternate reality he coins “digital limbo”.



In the animation-infused digital painting, we find ourselves on a digital ocean that hasn’t fully formed yet, like a virtual reality that is still under construction. Collage like arrangements which are reminiscent of Kutsche’s earlier work frag·men·tal, featured at Sotheby’s in 2023, further delve into the disconnect between the digital and real worlds.



Central to this scene is a shipwrecked figure, clad in attire echoing shamanistic but also Swiss carnival traditions like the Tschäggättä. The figure, possibly a collector, is surrounded by their remaining possessions, symbolizing the accumulation and preservation of digital and physical wealth.



The figure's featureless, cone-shaped head, resembling an inflatable projection screen, alludes to the anonymity prevalent in web3 and the constructed facades of social media identities. The juxtaposition of a Patek Philippe Nautilus goldwatch, a rare 1977 Topps Star Wars collectible card, a pair of Chromie Squiggle sneakers and a variant of a "Pepe Rothko" painting is prompting reflections on the dual nature of monetary and sentimental values in collecting.



Drawing inspiration from the anonymity of notable crypto art collectors and the infamous art thief Stéphane Breitwieser, who secreted away over $1.4 billion worth of art for personal admiration rather than profit, the artist draws parallels between modern digital collecting and historical veneration of sacred relics and totems. The comparison highlights the deep, almost spiritual connection that dedicated collectors have with their art, transforming these pieces into almost mythical entities.



In web3, the narrative woven by artists and collectors around their work is poised to play an even more crucial role in determining success, possibly even surpassing its impact in traditional art world dynamics. Melancholia Bay not only reflects on these themes but also invites viewers into a world where the lines between digital identity, art collecting and myth-making are increasingly getting blurred.



Each NFT is paired with a gold 32" Muse Frame. An elegant smart frame with HD screen resolution, built in HD speakers, patented anti-glare matte art screen and custom Michael Kutsche start page. Screen dimensions: 41.5cm x 72.0cm x 3.7cm (with the frame).



Furthermore, it's packaging is a monochromatic version of the digital painting that with the addition of an exclusive T.R.A.C.E. tag becomes a secondary individual artwork.



The T.R.A.C.E. tag creates a digital certificate of authenticity for the physical. Offering verifiable records inscribed on-chain, ensuring the authenticity and provenance the artwork in an immutable manner. The T.R.A.C.E. dCOA is owned by the physical and is not a trade-able token.



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