Skip to main content
Lot 3
(B. 1980)
M87 Black Hole Deconstruction #9
21 – 30 June 2021, 12:00 EDT
New York

Sold for US$62,812.50 inc. premium

Own a similar item?

Submit your item online for a free auction estimate.

How to sell

Looking for a similar item?

Our NFTs and Digital Art specialists can help you find a similar item at an auction or via a private sale.

Find your local specialist

Ask about this lot

MATT KANE (B. 1980)

M87 Black Hole Deconstruction #9
conceived on April 10, 2019, animated on June 10, 2021, minted on June 15, 2021 Non-Fungible Token ERC-721
Token ID: 25435
Minted on June 15, 2021, ed. 1/1
Smart Contract Address: 0xb932a70a57673d89f4acffbe830e8ed7f75fb9e0

The present work can be viewed on the Bonham's profile on SuperRare at the following link:

For terms applicable to payment in ETH please contact Customer Services


"Immensity is within ourselves. It is attached to a sort of expansion of being that life curbs and caution arrests, but which starts again when we are alone. [...] However paradoxical this may seem, it is often this inner immensity that gives their real meaning to certain expressions concerning the visible world" (Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, New York: 2014, p. 202-203)

In 2017, the Event Horizon Telescope captured the first ever images of a black hole – directly imaged from the nucleus of the M87 galaxy in the constellation Virgo, some 55 million light-years from Earth. It was a pivotal moment in the study of astronomical phenomena, the first physical description of this phantom, cosmic behemoth whose very density and size bends space, time, and light. As scientifically significant as these images are, what the Event Horizon Telescope unknowingly realised was a picture that pierced the collective mind and gripped at a deeply human experience. It was an image of pure otherness; by universal standards, the image of a god; subjectively, an image of sheer unreason – the shadow of a dimension beyond our own – existing in a cosmic time that reduced our Terran cycles to mere blips.

In Matt Kane's work we find proof of this subjective universal. His art extrapolates images that live in the public consciousness as 'impressions' of our landscape; drawing out and constructing an interconnected web of tangents, parabolas, and units of observation that grow, swirling and emanating from their source. The present work, M87 Black Hole Deconstruction #9, comes from Kane's most significant series of tokenized artworks that take the Event Horizon Telescope images and pulls apart their data points. Recalibrating and reconstructing these pixels, what Kane produces is a database image that unnervingly breathes with an aura that is near-organic.

As one of the pioneers and figureheads of the Crypto Art movement, Kane's work has brought this novel artistic media into the main. Nonetheless, it was his traditional training as a painter – negotiating supports, grounds, pigments, and glazes – that has informed his practice throughout. In his deconstructions, this layering is patently clear. As the vectors and architectures of the present work rotate and diverge, the implied hand of its maker is ever-present; a trace of the pencil or brush that lays down its medium. It is apt, therefore, that Kane's creative process involves completely self-developed software and inputs to interpret, rend, and reanimate its grid of splines.

A system of networks that is infinitely scalable, M87 Black Hole Deconstruction #9 is a work of technical mastery that shows the boundless capacity for generative expression in digital media. In comparable works, Kane has taken the paintings of Monet as his source material; undoing the gestures of the Impressionist virtuoso and feeding the translated data back into the composition of Nymphéas and Meules alike. Echoing the landscapes of art history before him, the poignancy of the cosmos as Kane's chosen setting, therefore, cannot be understated. Seeking the truest expression of the world around him – taking an impression of his environment – Monet made the work of art a narrative, expressive event. In Kane's M87 Black Hole Deconstruction #9, this system of interpolations rings true: interpreting the real image of our cosmic landscape and impressing upon it a generative, vivid hand.

The present work is the most recent and important Non-Fungible Token (NFT) to be developed by Kane, offered as part of a hugely significant sale of Crypt'OG's in collaboration with SuperRare – one of the foremost marketplaces of NFTs. As part of this distinguished Crypto Art movement, the cosmic space and Kane's Black Hole Deconstruction's have revealed themselves as pertinent metaphors for the newfound land of the digital world. In the infinitude of digital space, such tokens created by those first colonisers are gaining ever more value as our lives become imbricated with their virtual equivalent. The black hole appears as an image of the grandeur, power, and unknowability of the universe(s) we inhabit. It stands as a seminal artwork right at the avant-garde of contemporary practice.

Additional information

News and stories