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Who is Niclas Castello? German artist goes viral for placing pure gold cube worth $11.7 million in Central Park

Niclas Castello's gold cube in Central Park (Image via niclas.castello/Instagram)
Niclas Castello's gold cube in Central Park (Image via niclas.castello/Instagram)
Abhirup Sengupta

On February 2, German artist Niclas Castello unveiled an $11.7 million “Gold Cube” artwork in Central Park, New York, which was showcased for one day. The 410 lbs (186 kilograms) cube is reportedly made of “pure, 24-carat, 999.9 fine gold.”

As per the official press release by Castello, the gold cube took over 4500 hours of work and was manufactured by Art Foundry H. Rüetschi in Aarau (Switzerland). The document also revealed that the artwork promotes the artist’s cryptocurrency, Castello Coin.

New in NYC: A cube made from $11.7 million worth of solid gold is sitting in Central Park—and has its own security detail: bit.ly/32So5U1 https://t.co/5kXUDSVnS9

The gold cube was guarded by a security unit on Wednesday. Castello had previously teased the gold cube by getting multiple trucks (which showcased mysterious coordinates of the location) to drive around Times Square.


What is known about Niclas Castello?

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As per Artnet, Niclas Castello (aka Norbert Zerbs) is a contemporary artist from East Germany and was born on July 21, 1978. The 43-year-old artist was reportedly influenced by the fall of the Berlin Wall. He showcases his artwork inspired by neo-expressionism, pop art, and street art, amongst others.

In the late 1990s, Niclas Castello was involved in the street art culture of Germany and then moved to Paris in 2003. The Neuhaus am Rennweg native later moved to New York, where he developed most of his artistic style. During that time, Castello worked on several art projects across various galleries in the USA and Europe.

In his website’s biography section, Castello credits American video artist Arleen Schloss as his mentor. He reportedly resided with her at Schloss’ place in New York for two years. The German artist is currently based out of New York and Switzerland.


Castello’s work

The artist is known for his sculptures like The Kiss and his critically acclaimed artwork, the Cube-Painting-Sculpture (released in 2016). His other works include several cube-inspired structures.

As per Artnet, Castello currently has around 20 artworks available for purchase. These include six paintings and nine sculptures, along with prints and installations. While some of his sculptures and paintings are exclusively available at auctions, others can be purchased at exorbitantly high prices. Meanwhile, his print works are available for $20,000 to $30,000.


Edited by Siddharth Satish

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