Time Machine

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Many brands in our industry have attempted to turn their visual into NFT to jump on the bangwagon. We must say that some have been more successful than others in building a community around their NFTs to establish a value primarily set by the marketplace and community they want to associate their brand with.

Tourneaul Bucherer’s Time Machine exhibition demonstrates the art’s qualitative power in establishing some basic criteria to a successful NFT campaign.

Spanning a century of creative ingenuity and boldly crossing formal boundaries from traditional painting to interactive sculpture and NFTs, the works in Time Machine highlight the qualities of innovation, excellence and luxury.

“With our rotating exhibition we embrace the idea of timelessness with works from Picasso to Damien Hirst, Man Ray to Adam Parker Smith; spanning across a variety of mediums including photography, paintings, sculptures and now one of the first retailers to showcase NFTs. The Bucherer 1888 TimeMachine is a boutique that is built on the concept of curation. Our goal is to create an environment that constantly inspires, surprises and delights,’’ says Carina Ertl, Chief Marketing Officer of Tourneau/Bucherer USA.

Visitors to Bucherer ‘s NYC flagship store at Madison Ave and 57th Street are invited to ponder their place in time by peering into Mungo Thomson’s interactive artwork April 19, 1993 (Los Angeles: is the city of angels). The mirrored surface of the piece, embellished with the distinctive red border and logo of Time Magazine, places the viewer as the hypothetical cover. In situating the viewer as such, the piece portrays the importance of the individual, and each decision they make.

The circular motion and dynamic radiation of energy in Damien Hirst’s enigmatic Spin painting indicate the constant motion  of time. Created using both the artist’s hand and a machine designed to rotate the canvas, Hirst’s painting provides a counterpoint to the mechanical precision, suggesting the ways in which creative expression can impact time.

The inclusion of two blue-chip NFTs in this curation point to the future and acknowledge the current cultural zeitgeist CryptoPunks, the first and most valuable NFT project on the Ethereum blockchain, is a set of 10,000 uniquely generated characters. No two are exactly alike, and each one of them can only be officially owned by a single person. With over $2 Billion dollars in total transaction from this project since its launch in 2017, CryptoPunk #5447, which is on loan from its owner exclusively for Bucherer, has a current market value of approximately $450,000.

On view for the month of April, Andy Warhol’s unique NFT “Untitled (Flower)” executed circa 1985 and minted by the Andy Warhol Foundation in 2021, also exclusively on loan from its owner, was purchased at Christie’s in May 2021 for $525,000. A visionary artist who embraced technological development while adhering to tradition, the creation of this NFT is a testament to Warhol’s boundless spirit of exploration and experimentation.

Photographed nearly a century ago, the flowers in Man Ray’s Magnolia are seen as clearly as the day he made the photograph. Both precise and nostalgic, the enduring quality and beauty in Man Ray’s work is mirrored in the watches of Bucherer.

A counterpoint to Magnolia, Man Ray’s Dada-influenced sculpture of a chessboard with three oversized pieces referenced the Dada luminary Marcel Duchamp’s devotion to chess. A form of readymade, meant to subvert the utility of standard daily objects, Permanent attraction portrays a stillness in time, a moment in opposition to the regimented back and forth of the competitive game. Like Hirst and Thomson’s works, the piece suggests the individual has agency with their own time.

In two new sculptures by Adam Parker Smith, the revered New York based artist integrates Shibari-influenced rope in his trademark resin sculptures reminiscent of foil balloons. Yet while such balloons portray fleeting sensations of joy, Parker Smith’s cast works are indicative of precision and longevity. The Shibari wrapped hearts reveal the intertwined temptations of love  and desire; two masters of luxury joined together as one.

Unhindered by limitations of era or medium, Time Machine is the first exhibition of its kind to curate historical masters such as Man Ray alongside NFTs. Capturing the contemporary spirit of experimentation and open mindedness, this ground-breaking exhibition reflects Bucherer’s qualities not only of luxury and quality, but of innovation. 

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