God on Display

A few days ago, an Italian artist sold a piece of artwork measuring five feet by five feet for $18,000. Although the scenario sounds unremarkable, the artwork that sold is dumbfounding. You see, the artist did not create a masterpiece of stone, pastels, clay, or even woven fabric; what Salvatore Garau sold is air.

In the article, Artist sells ‘invisible sculpture’ for $18K,” posted on the Fox News website, the artist says, “The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, even if we empty it and there is nothing left. According to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that ‘nothing’ has a weight. Therefore, it has an energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.

Thus, what Garau sold was not artwork but a mass of thoughts or philosophy. However, what intrigued me more was his title for his invisible mass: “I AM.”  For Christians familiar with Scripture, we know that God’s name is “I AM.” Exodus 3:14 says that “God said to Moses, ‘I AM who I AM.’ And He said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’”

Did the artist do this on purpose? Did the name “I AM” mean something else to him? Or was Garau telling the world that he is playing or acting as God who can create beauty from nothing or energy out of excess air?

I looked for other artwork created by Garau and found a few mentions of art showings and a recent art piece at a church that consisted of three ponds with local fish, but apart from that, there was nothing significant to ascertain his mindset.

Finally, I found this article online by Elena Gorgan, entitled, “$18,300 Invisible Sculpture “I Am” Is Basically a Void That Kicks NFT Butt.” Her reporting quoted the artist to say, “When I decide to ‘exhibit’ an immaterial sculpture in a given space, that space will concentrate a certain quantity and density of thoughts in a precise point, creating a sculpture that from my title alone will take the most varied forms. After all, don’t we give shape to a God we have never seen?”

Garau had full knowledge of God’s name. 

In an essay found in Art and the Bible, Theologian Frances Schaffer says, “Art is only an embodiment of a message, a vehicle for the propagation of a particular message about the world or the artist or man or whatever.”

 So, what is Garau’s message? That God takes on various forms? Or is it that we can manipulate the thoughts of Him and form philosophies that “shape” who God is? 

God gave us a general revelation of Him, which is available to everyone. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens tell of the glory of God; their expanse declares the work of His hands.” 

I would have liked to spend more time investigating Garau’s philosophies. However, I do know that God has revealed Himself to mankind, not in bodily form, for God is Spirit and has no form (see John 4:24a), but in His handiwork.  

God also planted the knowledge of Himself in every human heart. Through our conscience, we are aware of God inwardly. He is the source of all righteousness. In Him, we have the sense of right and wrong and good and evil. Romans 1:19-20 says, “For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse.”

Although Garau achieved his desire by creating an invisible conversation starter, God created the world so that the world would see Him and speak of His handiwork.