Picasso’s heirs launch digital artwork to surf NFT, crypto wave

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The artist’s descendants are playing near the vest, to generate interest and protect – for now – a family heirloom. They only show a fragment of the underside of the NFT-related artwork, a ceramic piece the size of a large salad bowl. The exposed parts show shapes like a thick yellow line, a green dribble spot and a brushed number 58 at the base.

Marina Picasso says the cherished piece of pottery dates from October 1958, when she was a child.

“It’s a work that represents a face, and it’s very expressive,” she says. “It’s joyful, happy. It represents life… It’s one of those objects that have been part of our life, our private life — my life with my children.

Cyril Noterman, longtime director of Florian Picasso, and Kathryn Frazier, the project’s publicist, said Sotheby’s will hold an auction in March that will include a unique NFT as well as the ceramic bowl itself.

But Matthew Floris, a spokesperson for Sotheby’s, said in a statement: “Sotheby’s has clarified that it will not be selling an NFT of a work by Pablo Picasso.”

Noterman and Frazier said a first phase of online sales of more than 1,000 more NFTs begins Friday through Clever Gateway and Original Protocol platforms.

Florian and Marina Picasso surrounded by the works of their ancestor Pablo. Credit:AP/Boris Heger

Florian Picasso said they agreed on the colored ceramic piece because it was “fun” to begin with.

An NFT Picasso brings with it an almost vintage symbolism, much like when the Beatles collection finally hit iTunes. The family and its business leaders say the goal is to create a younger community of Picasso lovers.

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

“I think it’s part of Picasso’s legacy because we pay homage to him and his way of working, which was always creative,” he said.

How quaint seems those days of yore when Picasso, as the legend goes, simply doodled on a napkin as payment for a restaurant meal – his labor supposedly worth far more than the cost of food and drink that he liked.

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Part of the proceeds will be donated – part to a charity that aims to help overcome a shortage of nurses and another to a non-governmental organization that wants to help reduce carbon in the atmosphere. The NFTs will also come with music composed by DJ and music producer Florian Picasso, along with songwriter John Legend and rapper Nas.

Even a full rendering of this track is yet to be made public: Florian Picasso played a snippet for a reporter, then turned it off.

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