The new edition of ARCO, held at Ifema Madrid from July 7 to 11, will host for the first time an all-digital artwork (NFT, Non-Fungible Tokens), as the director of the fair, Maribel López, has advanced, who also predicts “more surprises” related to the digital format.

“Some of these surprises are going to be found, but I don’t want to say gallery names so as not to privilege. What is certain is that in ARCO a gallery will have NFT work, although since I still do not have it in front of me, I have to wait“, López pointed out in an interview with Europa Press, although without specifying the place or the price that this piece will have.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Tokens and it is a type of work in digital format. Buyers do not receive the physical work when they purchase it, but a digital voucher (or token) and blockchain technology, which allow you to encrypt the piece and avoid duplication of the same work.

These works are gaining relevance in the international market and this same year the collage ‘Every day: the first 5,000 days’ was already sold at Christie’s from the artist Beeple for a price of $ 70 million – reaching the third highest price for a living artist at auction.

It is a complicated subject. I still understand it as support, but the blockchain concept and certification of that unit will be very important. I’m still trying to understand it as an art form, I’m still learning “, López acknowledged when asked for his opinion regarding these works.

It is essential that I have a work for myself, because I am missing a part of the process. I think that many other previous manifestations have surprised us, so i’m very interested to see how i fit this“, has commented with humor.

At ARCO, there has been an ARCO-BEEP technology award for Electronic Art for almost two decades that attends to these types of innovations. What’s more, this year ‘intangible’ works will have a leading role thanks to a space set up for galleries in Latin America that they cannot finally attend because of the coronavirus issue and that they will be able to show their pieces and participate through technology.


ARCOMadrid will return on July 7 with a face-to-face edition, after being one of the last cultural events to be held before the coronavirus pandemic, and it will do so with a renewal: mask obligation, Around 40,000 people daily capacity and with an ‘extra’ day for professionals.

For this new edition, which was on the air in the worst moments of the pandemic, López has highlighted the importance of the place where it will be held, Ifema Madrid, a “very safe” space. ARCO will reduce its usual capacity by half and masks will be mandatory, with three days for professionals – usually there were two. Saturday and Sunday will continue to be days for the general public.


In the absence of knowing the works that will participate in this edition, López has asked that the controversy that usually occurs in some editions “be left far away.” “Disperse attention from what is important, because art needs to be seen calmly“, he remarked.

Yes, the presence of the work ‘Guernica’ by Agustín Ibarrola – a 2×10 meter mural – has been announced, which has been forgotten for decades. It was carried out in 1977 for the initiative that I wanted to place Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ in a new museum in the Basque town.

By chance, the gallery owner José de la Mano discovered it in an old photo while preparing an Ibarrola exhibition. The artist’s family looked for it and the gallery owner will present it at his stand at ARCO, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the arrival of Picasso’s work in Madrid. “This, perhaps, is the first tribute “, they point from the gallery.

By Editor

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