Some of the heirs of the great Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, are jumping on the digital bandwagon by selling 1,010 digital art pieces that are representations of one of his ceramic works that has never before been seen publicly.
Crypto, or digital, assets are riding high despite the recent drop in value of Bitcoin and other digital currency, and Picasso’s granddaughter and great grandson are riding the wave by launching the new product.
The Associated Press had an exclusive interview with Picasso’s granddaughter, Marina Picasso, and her son Florian Picasso in their Geneva, Switzerland apartment, which is replete with artistic works of every kind created by the great man.
Pablo Picasso work becoming NFT after lesser-known artists entered the market
However, they were a bit shy about showing the entire piece to photographers lest they lessen the value of the piece, which is a ceramic disk or platter with multicolored designs in green, yellow and gray.
The work will be part of what they call an unprecedented fusion of fine art and digital assets, which will be a non-fungible token, or NFT, an asset which has already garnered millions for many other artists.
However, cryptocurrency of all types has been criticized for its incredible cost to the environment, as large amounts of electricity are needed to mine the currency.
A fungible token — like a dollar or even a Bitcoin — is an asset that can be exchanged on a one-for-one basis. Conversely, a non-fungible token — such as art — has its own value.
So NFTs in essence are like digital certificates of authenticity for digital art — and indeed anything else that you could see or hear online, including audio files of any kind.
Florian Picasso, the artist’s great-grandson, states to the AP “We’re trying to build a bridge between the NFT world and the fine art world. “We will build a new generation of Picasso fans in a new way — because everything is evolving, and now the way we communicate and exchange information and data, is changing.”
Picasso went on to state that in March, after the “first wave” of the sale, his family sill stage a “one of one” sale with Sotheby’s , “With one of one NFT’s from that collection attached to a Picasso ceramic.”
For now, the Picassos, who have proven to be wise stewards of their illustrious ancestor’s works — are not showing much of what they plan to market in this way, showing only part of the underside of a ceramic piece about the size of a platter, on which the number “58” is seen.
Marina Picasso recalls that the cherished piece was created in October of 1958, during her childhood.
“It’s a work that represents a face, and it’s very expressive,” she said, adding “It’s joyful, happy. It represents life … It’s one of those objects that have been part of our life, our intimate lives — my life with my children.”
Sotheby’s will not only host an auction in March for the unique NFT — they will also sell the actual ceramic bowl as well.
Florian Picasso said that the family agreed to share the Picasso ceramic because it was “a fun one” with which to start the process.
Telling interviewers that the NFT honors the great artist in an appropriate way, Florian states “I think it fits within Picasso’s legacies because we are paying tribute to him and his way of working, which was always being creative.”
Indeed, the artists of his generation did nothing but think outside the box, so it may be only fitting that Picasso’s works will be part of the new sales platform.
In addition, the family states that a portion of the proceeds will be donated, to a charity addressing the nursing shortage, and an NGO devoted to reducing carbon in the atmosphere.
Florian Picasso, a DJ and music producer, with the help of songwriter John Legend and rapper Nas, has created music that will go along with the NFTs.
Cleverly giving just a tiny hint of the music to the reporter, Florian quickly turned it off after just a few seconds, saying “And to hear more, you gotta purchase the NFT.”