Director and artist Robert Wilson is auctioning his first NFT : a video portrait of Lady Gaga , who plays, in an animated reworking of Jacques-Louis David’s 1793 painting, “The Death of Marat”.
GAGA / MARAT, the title of the digital work , is offered at Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale on June 24 in New York, with bids starting at just $ 100 without providing an initial estimate.
Robert Wilson, inspired by the portrayal of Marat, a well-known French journalist killed during the Revolution, collaborated with pop artist Lady Gaga to recreate the scene as one of her video portraits. Gaga posed as Marat while in the background her voice recites the erotic writings of the Marquis de Sade becoming the soundtrack of the opera.
This new reworking by Wilson is in line with his artistic research on the themes of reproduction, authenticity and edition present in the subject and in the medium of the painting.
The contemporary turn towards digital media also reflects the late 18th century changes in journalism and reportage referred to by Jacques-Louis David.
Already in the autumn of 2013 the video portraits made by Robert Wilson were presented on the occasion of the solo exhibition held at the Musée du Louvre and simultaneously at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
The artist thanks to the new medium of the NFT for the work GAGA / MARAT 2021 re-conceptualizes the avant-garde role played by the iconic revolutionary painting in 1793 and carries it forward as a new postmodern work for 2021.
Robert Wilson’s Video Portraits are part of a long tradition in art history, but they use new media: instead of using oil paint and canvas , Wilson uses video photography, monitors and now the Blockchain.