Within the span of a fortnight, we’ve gone from monolith curiosity to full-on monolith mania.
All the interest sparked by the appearance of the first anonymous plinth in the dusty red rocks of Utah has cascaded into successive waves of hot-takery and viral stunting, conspiracy theories and crude memes. Hello, 2020.
And here we are again, with another twist in the saga—one that purports to answer the fundamental question still at the center of it all: who the heck is responsible for these things?
Well, an anonymous collective called The Most Famous Artist says it was behind the stunt.
On its website, and in several Instagram posts, the group has taken credit for the original steel stele in Utah as well as the replica that popped up in Atascadero, California, before being swiftly dismantled by a band of Christian zealots.
And now—as if there were any doubt as to where this was headed—the collective is selling facsimiles.
For the low, low price of $45,000 you, too, can own your own monolith. The artworks, in an edition of three (with one artist’s proof), each arrive with a Blockchain certificate of authenticity.
“What better way to end this [bleeped up] year than let the world briefly think aliens made contact only to be disappointed that it’s just The Most Famous Artist playing tricks again,” said the group’s founder, Matty Mo, to Mashable.
But was the group really behind the stunt, or is it merely taking credit?
Reached by Artnet News, Mo offered only this cryptic response: “For legal reasons I cannot share more than what has been said on social media and in the Mashable article.”
(He added a bit more for Mashable: “I can say we are well known for stunts of this nature and at this time we are offering authentic art objects through monoliths-as-a-service. I cannot issue additional images at this time but I can promise more on this in the coming days and weeks.”)
Members of The Most Famous Artist have orchestrated—or at least claimed—a number of similarly headline-grabbing stunts, including the white flag planted on the Brooklyn Bridge, and the time LA’s Hollywood sign was tweaked to read Hollyweed.
Whether the group is also behind the original monolith might prove to be irrelevant, at least as far as it’s concerned.
“We have several interested collectors and expect to close a sale within the week,” Mo said triumphantly of the replicas.
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