The artist who came from nowhere to be one of the leading artists of his generation, the artist Sir Michael Caine described as “the next Andy Warhol”, has just become the first artist in the world to accept Bitcoin as payment for his work.
Known globally for his original oils and Icons, the two elements of his work that unite around themes of risk, consumption and creativity, Lincoln Townley is a natural disruptor. Although he is now a global figure in his own right with a network of powerful and influential buyers, he struggled for recognition from traditional art institutions. Rather than play by their rules, he decided to create his own art market and succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations.
He says: “To create my own art market meant believing that the value of my work was not going to be determined by the art establishment. If I was going to succeed, it was going to be by breaking boundaries, by refusing to accept what other people told me was possible.”
Townley’s affinity for Bitcoin is visceral. Its decentralised peer-to-peer network and resistance to any form of censorship mirror his own attitude to art: a currency that doesn’t need a bank to guarantee its value is a perfect medium for an artist whose doesn’t need an Academy to sanction the value of his work.
“My buyers,” Townley says, “are highly successful, creative people. They have a natural affinity with the essence of my work, which is to find a limit and push beyond it. Buying art with cryptocurrency is as natural to them as it is to me.”
Like the Icons he paints, Townley is always gambling on fluid, unpredictable futures and if there was ever going to be an artist willing to challenge the way works of art are bought and sold, it was Lincoln Townley.
And now he’s done it.
Lingerie tycoon and Bitcoin fan Michelle Mone is predicting the value of the virtual currency will rocket to $100,000 – ten times its current value. Baroness Mone and her boyfriend, businessman Doug Barrowman, revealed plans in September to sell £192million worth of luxury Dubai apartments in Bitcoin – a first for the property market.
Celebrated British artist Lincoln Townley has sold a painting in the UK for Bitcoin His painting called ‘Homage to Francis Bacon’ went under the hammer for 40 Bitcoin, the equivalent of £520,000 An unnamed European art collector bought the piece from the artist’s forthcoming Hell Collection British artist Lincoln Townley has sold his first major work using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, in what is believed to be the first sale of its kind in the UK.