Remember those strange metallic obelisks that were popping up all over the place back in 2020 and 2021? Those were nothing compared to the gold cube that showed up in New York’s Central Park.
Like those obelisks, the gold cube is a work of art, however, unlike those, there is nothing mysterious about the origination of this one, and it even has its own armed security detail.
On the morning of February 2, joggers and dog walkers in New York’s Central Park may have been rather shocked to see a mysterious gold cube that seemed to appear in the park out of nowhere. The cube, composed of 400 pounds of pure 24-karat gold, was conceived by the German artist Niclas Castello who has billed it as a conceptual “socle du monde” (base of the world) sculpture for our time.
Although the strange work of art is not for sale, according to the artist’s team, based on the current price of gold at $1,788 per ounce, its material worth is around $11.7 million. Flanked by a heavy security detail, the 410-pound work was only on display for the single day – probably to please gawkers, yet not tempt potential thieves.
Castello called the work “a conceptual work of art in all its facets.” He said the idea was to “create something that is beyond our world—that is intangible.”
An accompanying cryptocurrency is being launched alongside the physical artwork. The Castello Coin, traded as $CAST, is available for purchase online at an initial price of $.44 each, with an accompanying NFT auction scheduled for February 21.
According to Castello’s team, the golden cube was cast at a foundry in Aarau, Switzerland, requiring a special handmade kiln in order to withstand both the sheer size and volume of gold, as well as the extreme temperatures needed to melt it, reaching up over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The cube measures over a foot and a half on all sides and has a wall thickness of about a quarter inch.
At day’s end, the sculpture was moved to a private dinner on Wall Street, where numerous celebrities could be seen in attendance. Where it will go from there, Castello’s team has so far remained tight-lipped about that.
Castello was born in 1978 in East Germany and focuses on creating contemporary works of art as well as street and pop art.
Much of his art is influenced by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and many of his pieces are inspired by the neo-expressionism era of Jean-Michel Basquiat. He now lives and works in both New York and Switzerland.