The head of a bear by Leonardo da Vinci is reborn in the metaverse by Hackatao


Hackatao’s response to the masterpiece Bear head by da Vinci is based on the concept of the continuum; a continuous sequence in which the adjacent elements are not noticeably different from each other, but the extremes are quite distinct. An endless pattern, a curve or a geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole, and which leads to the infinite circularity and eternity of art.

Hover over the image of da Vinci Bear head and, through the Aria app, the bear’s head comes alive, the fur ripples and ruffles and the head spins, and finally the bear’s mouth opens and the viewer enters its jaws. The transition from Leonardo’s drawing, through the mapped 3D head, to the final digital drawings looks like an ocean wave. Throughout this highly technical metamorphosis from physical to digital, the attention to detail carried by the movement of nature links the two works. Leonardo DeVinci was at the forefront of the art in his time and now, in 2021, his work has inspired this response from Hackatao, with each artist drawing inspiration and vision from an everyday subject.

Hackatao currently lives and works immersed in nature in the mountains beyond Milan, where Leonardo was once a court artist. The artist duo have been an integral part of the crypto art revolution and have had a significant influence in disrupting the way art is presented. They demonstrate that it is possible to retire from city life, while using technology to keep them fully engaged in the changing digital world. Hackatao are at the heart of an artistic movement born out of web-based communities, where space and time no longer exist and creators can remain anonymous, being judged solely for their art. Behind every artistic movement, there are visionary pioneers, and the name “Hackatao” was born from the fusion of two words “Hack” the pleasure of discovery and “Tao” meaning all alive.

Their work has been praised for its vision and interpretation of issues in today’s society including the environment, cryptocurrencies and humanity, while Hackatao also makes the issue ever-present in the world of today by probing “what is art”, as Leonardo perhaps did as an experimenter and pioneer artist in his lifetime. Hackatao has experimented with technology and believes digital art is the new way to create and demonstrate artistic expression, albeit through modern technology. As such, the work of Hackatao Hack a bear comes alive today in the metaverse (a virtual reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users) manifesting itself as a digital work inspired by the 15e drawing of the century.

Stijn Alsteens, Head of International Department, Old Drawings, Christie’s Paris comments,

“Leonardo’s exceptional powers of observation and drawing skills enabled him to capture the world around him like no one had done before – and indeed, as very few have since. As one of his notebooks describes, the studies he made from nature could also form the basis of works of fantasy and imagination. His “bear head”, made in the early 1480s, seems to have been used by him when he was working on his famous portrait of Cecilia Gallerani in Krakow, which includes an idealized depiction of an ermine. The practice of seeing and studying reality while understanding its structure, beauty and artistic potential has enabled him to transform it into a new work of art that he has made his own – just like innovative digital artists like Hackatao. are doing it today.

Noah Davis, Specialist, Post-war and contemporary art, Christie’s new York comments, ‘One can only assume that if Leonardo, the consummate technologist of his day, lived and worked now, he would be absolutely mesmerized by the rise of NFTs and probably even hitting his own. This collaboration marks an important moment for crypto-native artists like Hackatao, when their practice explodes at the highest level of the international art market. It’s also an amazing time for the Museum of Crypto Art (M â—‹ C â–³), because it will be the first time that Leonardo’s work has been exhibited in the Metaverse. As the old boundaries between lived and virtual experience blur, Christie’s will continue to seek new ways to navigate the fascinating overlap between the two.

Several NFT works will be created from this work by Hackato, one of which will be donated to the Museum of Crypto Art (M â—‹ C â–³) and the others will be available on SuperRare. The Museum of Crypto Art (M â—‹ C â–³) is a museum that lives in the metaverse and exhibits works of art on digital platforms and worlds. It is a foundation, governance vehicle and incubator working with artists to define crypto art, preserve its legacy and pioneer democratic conservation. M â—‹ C â–³’s exhibition on Hackatao Leonardo DeVinci-inspired bear employs the same stylistic goals of the work: to modernize the genius of the Italian Renaissance in a digital context. The environment of the exhibition plays with scale, light and color to create anticipation and guide viewers through an experience. M â—‹ C â–³ will exhibit ‘Hack of a Bear’ by Hackatao de July 9th at the Museum. To view please click here.

A virtual exhibition will take place alongside the auction of Christie’s exceptional sale at M â—‹ C â–³ on the Arium platform, organized by Eleonora Brizi. The exhibition opens on July 7. Please click here to discover the exhibition space.

the Bear head through Leonardo DeVinci, as well as Hackatao’s response will be available for in situ visualization from July 3, 2021 as part of the Classic Week view taking place at Christie’s King’s Street, London until July 7. It will also be available for viewing via the ARIA app from July 3 from anywhere in the world. Please find the QR code below in order to access the application and experience this digital work from July 3.

Leonardo DeVinci Bear head is a highlight in the next one Exceptional sale live July 8 at Christie’s London.

Please click here to view a teaser video of the final digital work via the Hackatao site.

Please click here for the dropbox images contained in the version. Please note that the photo credits for the images provided are © Christie’s Images 2021 or © Hackatao according to the captions above.


Charlotte brown I +44 207 752 3172 | [email protected]

Notes to Editors

History of the exhibition:

London, Burlington Fine Arts Club, Photos, drawings, furniture and more Art, 1936-1937, no. 18.
Milan, Palace of Art, Mostra di Leonardo DeVinci, 1939, p. 158, pl. 100.
London, Royal Academy, Leonardo DeVinci. Exhibition of the Cinquantenaire, 1952, n. 37.
Nottingham, University City Art Gallery, Drawing in the Italian Renaissance Workshop. An exhibition of early Renaissance drawings from the collections of Britain, 1983, no. 8, pl. 3 (catalog by A. Weston-Lewis and J. Wright).
London, Hayward Gallery, Leonardo DeVinci, 1989, p. 94, no. 37, p. 98, under no. 39, ill. (entered by Mr. Kemp).
L. Syson, ed., London, National Gallery, Painter of Leonardo da Vinci at Court of Milan, 2011-2012, no. 14, ill. (entry by A. Galansino).
Shanghai, Long Museum, Moscow, Pushkin National Museum of Fine Arts, and Saint PETERSBOURG, Hermitage Museum, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals in the Dutch Golden Age. Masterpieces from the Leiden collection, 2017-2019 (not in the catalog).

About the Cryptographic Art Museum (M â—‹ C â–³)

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