Arts & Entertainment

The metaverse helps New York bring Gaudi’s architecture to life

By Sarah Yañez-Richards

New York, May 5 (EFE).- Though it sits in Barcelona, Antonio Gaudi’s iconic Casa Batllo has a presence in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza thanks to technology and the skill of media artist Refik Anadol.

If rain falls in Barcelona, the projection “Casa Batllo: Living Architecture” reflects that with a kind of blue wave washing over the distinctive facade of the Gaudi masterpiece designated by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site.

Christie’s is set to auction the NFT (non-fungible token) of the artwork on May 10 during the 21st Century Evening Sale at Rockefeller Plaza.

The auction house expects the work to fetch between $1 million and $2 million.

Casa Batllo went on display April 30, to kick off Christie’s 20th/21st Century Marquee Week exhibition, and is to remain at Rockefeller Plaza until May 13.

Standing more than 8.5 m (28 ft) tall, the projection screen is the maximum permissible height for a public artwork in the Big Apple, the Turkish-born Anadol told Efe.

He said that the idea for the project came from the management at the Casa Batllo, who he described as the “most open-minded” team he has encountered in his professional life.

“They wanted to preserve the history, but they were also open to innovation,” Anadol said.

Noting that Gaudi’s architecture was inspired by nature, the artist said it was a logical progression to integrate meteorological data into the NFT.

Standing in Rockefeller Plaza, Mexican tourist Laura Gonzales seems almost transfixed by the projection while she films it with her cell phone so she can share it with her daughter as an evocation of their in-person visit to Casa Batllo in Barcelona some years ago.

“Casa Batllo: Living Architecture” is the only NFT that will be on offer at the 21st Century Evening Sale, sharing the stage with one of Andy Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe and masterpieces by Van Gogh, Monet, and Basquiat. EFE syr/dr

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