“I’ll just sit back and smile, the money will come” is probably what Faith West thought when she announced that she would be selling never-before-seen Nirvana footage as NFTs. But furious fans have slammed the move, suggesting it’s an insult to Kurt Cobain’s memory.
Fans of the world’s biggest grunge band have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations over the latest profit-making NFT scheme. Kurt Cobain was famously and outwardly anti-capitalist and anti-establishment, with many Nirvana songs centering on themes of abjection, social alienation, and non-conformity to societal norms. It’s no wonder, then, that West received backlash for wanting to make money from these never-before-seen footage.
• Read more: What are NFTs?
The photos were taken in 1991 at JC Dobbs, Philadelphia, USA, just six days after the release of the band’s best-selling album, It does not matter. Nirvana gave an intimate concert to just 150 people, including Faith West who captured the show on film. Now, after 30 years, the photos have resurfaced and will be available for purchase as NFTs at an auction next month by Pop Legendz through Rare Market.
Pricing will range from $99 to $250,000 for a one-of-a-kind animated GIF image made up of 10 never-before-seen photos. Those with enough money to splash out on the most expensive GIFs will also receive a signed physical copy of one of the photos to keep. The 10 images that make up the GIF will also be auctioned off individually, and fans will be able to purchase 100 copies of the still images. The photos are available for purchase as NFTs in classic black and white or brightly colored, psychedelic “acid-washed” versions.
Fans scrutinized West’s actions for several reasons. One Twitter user pointed out that NFTs are bad for the planet because they “eat up an ungodly amount of energy for absolutely nothing” while another literally just posted “Terrible”. Several users also tweeted that selling Nirvana NFTs is tantamount to “peeing on Kurt Cobain’s grave” (although that could have been phrased more aggressively).
I am the photographer. For all their considerable drawbacks, NFTs restore artists’ proof of ownership. We earn so little for our work. Right-clicking and copying makes the artist a slave. For what it’s worth, I’m researching environmentally sensitive blockchains for the futureJanuary 24, 2022
In an attempt to put things right, West responded to several of the Tweets via the Pop Legendz account outlining his motivations for selling the NFTs. She explained that as a creator, she missed out on a lot of income during the pandemic, so she wanted to make up for that. Another reason to sell NFTs was to regain ownership, as images can easily be illegally copied and shared.
West has also pledged to donate some of the money to two charities: The Trevor Project, which helps suicidal people in the LGBTQ+ community, and Grid Alternatives, which installs solar panels in the homes of low-income families. income and who cannot afford to buy electricity. .
Regardless of whether you agree with, understand, or don’t care about NFTs, it’s a controversial topic that still raises a lot of questions. There are concerns about the morality of making money off of pictures of someone who’s dead, but Kurt Cobain is surely not the first and certainly not the last deceased celebrity whose likeness will be sold for a profit on a NFT market.
Despite the backlash West and Pop Legendz have faced, the auction is set to take place on February 20 — which would have been Kurt Cobain’s 55th birthday. And while some fans are clearly skeptical of the sale, we’re sure others will jump at the chance to own a little slice of Nirvana history.
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