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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Picasso’s heirs ride the ‘cryptography’ wave with a digital offering

Jamie Kiten | Associated Press

GENEVA – Pablo, meet Krypto.

The heirs of Pablo Picasso, the famous 20th-century Spanish artist, are invading 21st-century commerce by selling 1,010 digital artworks of one of his never-before-published ceramic works. took the world of art and finance by storm.

For an exclusive interview ahead of the official launch this week, Picasso’s granddaughter Marina Picasso and her son Florian Picasso opened their apartment, which is littered with the work of their illustrious ancestor, in an upscale neighborhood in Geneva. There they offered a glimpse, albeit painfully thin, of the part behind what they bill as an unprecedented fusion of old-school fine art and digital resources.

They hope to capitalize on and capitalize on the wave of interest in non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which have generated millions for much lesser-known artists and have been criticized by some as environmentally costly enrichment schemes.

According to his family’s promoters, Picasso would mark the grand master’s entry into the game.

In economic jargon, a fungible token is an asset that can be exchanged on a one-for-one basis. Think dollars or bitcoins – each has the same value and can be traded freely. On the contrary, a non-fungible object has its own special value, like an old house or a classic car.

Pair this concept with the cryptocurrency technology known as blockchain and you have NFTs. They are essentially digital certificates of authenticity that can be attached to digital art or, well, pretty much anything that is digitally represented – audio files, video clips, animated stickers, and even a news article read online.

“We are trying to build a bridge between the world of NFT and the world of fine art,” said Florian Picasso, the artist’s great-grandson.

The artist’s descendants play along with the vest to arouse interest and protect – for now – a family heirloom. They only show part of the bottom of the NFT-related work, a ceramic piece about the size of a large salad bowl. The exposed parts have shapes such as a thick yellow line, a dripping green blotch, and a brush-on “58” at the base.

Marina Picasso says the treasured pottery dates back to October 1958, when she was a child.

“It’s a face painting and it’s very expressive,” she said. “It’s joyful, happy. It represents life … It is one of those objects that was part of our life, our intimate life – my life with my children.

Cyril Noterman, Florian Picasso’s longtime manager, and Katherine Fraser, the project’s publicist, told the Associated Press that Sotheby’s will hold an auction in March that will feature a unique NFT, as well as a real ceramic bowl.

But Matthew Floris, a spokesman for Sotheby’s, contacted the AP on Wednesday and said in a statement: “Sotheby’s has clarified that it will not be selling Pablo Picasso’s NFTs.”
Noterman and Frazier said that the first phase of the online sale of more than 1,000 other NFTs will begin on Friday through the Nifty Gateway and Origin Protocol platforms.

Florian Picasso said they settled for the colorful ceramic piece because it was “fun” to begin with.

The NFT Picasso carries with it an almost epochal symbolism, sort of like when the Beatles collection was finally put up on iTunes. The family and its business managers say the goal is to create a younger community of Picasso fans.

“Everything evolves,” said Florian Picasso, insisting that the NFT honor the great artist.

“I think it’s in line with Picasso’s legacy because we pay homage to him and his way of working, which has always been creative,” he said.

How bizarre those distant times seem, when Picasso, as the legend goes, simply painted on a napkin as payment for a meal in a restaurant – his handiwork was supposedly worth far more than the cost of the food and drinks he enjoyed.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated – one to a charity dedicated to helping overcome the nursing shortage, and the other to a non-governmental organization that wants to help reduce carbon emissions. The NFT will also include music composed by Florian Picasso, a DJ and music producer, along with songwriter John Legend and rapper Nas.

Even the full rendering of this track has not yet been released: Florian Picasso played a snippet for the reporter and then turned it off.

“And to hear more, you need to buy NFT,” he joked.

AP video journalist Boris Heger contributed to this report.


World Nation News Desk
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