In June 2021, news articles were published about an Italian artist who reportedly sold an invisible sculpture at auction for more than $18,000. Popular podcast host Joe Rogan posted a screenshot of one such article to their Instagram page which quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of likes.
There are a number of things about this story that we can confirm. Italian artist Salvatore Garau exists. The Art Rite auction house where this sculpture was “sold” exists. A certificate of authenticity exists. But the sculpture? Let’s just say we haven’t seen enough evidence.
According to the Art Rite auction house, this invisible sculpture, entitled Lo Sono, outdid its estimate and sold for €14,820.00 (about $18,030) on May 18, 2021, during the “4-U new Contemporary Art Auction.” The auction house lists all of the items sold at this auction here. You can see the listing for Garau’s “Lo Sono” below. (It’s the one that looks blank).