FACT CHECK: Did A New York Artist Sell ‘Invisible Art’?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 380 times claims 27-year-old New York artist Lana Newstrom has created “invisible art” that is being purchased by collectors.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence of an artist named Newstrom trying to sell “invisible art.” The rumor appears to stem from a satirical radio program.

Fact Check:

The image features a group of people staring at what appears to be a blank, white wall. The image’s caption reads: “27-year-old artist Lana Newstrom says she is the first artist in the world to create invisible ‘art.'” The caption goes on to quote Newstrom as saying, “Just because you can’t see anything, doesn’t mean I didn’t put hours of work into creating a particular piece.”

In reality, there is no record of an artist named Lana Newstrom selling “invisible art.” An internet search for such an artist turned up no results except other news outlets debunking the hoax.

Additionally, the image appears to be altered. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the original photo was published on Shutterstock and shows that there are pieces of art on the wall.

“People look at Phil Stern photos exhibition at Forma Photography Foundation June 16, 2010 in Milan, Italy,” the original photo’s caption reads. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Denver Airport Mural Of Children Wearing Face Masks That Was Painted In 1994?)

The claim that an artist named Newstrom was selling “invisible art,” as well as the quote attributed to her, appear to stem from a 2014 segment on the CBC Radio show “This is That.” While CBC Radio describes the program as a “100% improvised, satirical send-up of public radio,” social media users have shared the made up story without such a warning, seemingly believing the satirical hoax to be true.

A piece of “invisible art” has, in fact, been sold before. In June, Newsweek reported Italian artist Salvatore Garau sold an “immaterial” sculpture at an auction for over $18,000.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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