A businessman burns a drawing of Frida Kahlo to resell it in NFT
On July 30, 2022, the Mexican businessman Martin Mobarak decided to burn a drawing by the artist Frida Khalo (whose authenticity has yet to be demonstrated) to resell it in NFT. Far from constituting an isolated act, his gesture is part of a broader trend of shifting art in the “Web3”. Should we worry about the future of the Mona Lisa? A businessman burns a drawing of Frida Kahlo to resell it in NFT… What do you think?
This is one of those chilling videos that would make you want to lock yourself away at home for eternity summoning voodoo forces to curse men and their incurable stupidity. On July 30, a certain Martin Mobarak, a Mexican businessman known for being the creator of the AGCoin cryptocurrency, published the video of a party organized in his villa in Miami.
So far, so good, you might say. Except that after a few shots of its sumptuous swimming pool and the models invited for the occasion, things spoil considerably. Unpacking before the eyes of a handpicked audience “Fantasmones Siniestros”, a work – presented as authentic – by the Mexican artist Frida Khalo, Martin Mobarak quite simply decides to set it on fire above a huge cocktail glass.
Within seconds, the drawing is reduced to ashes. If you are already on the verge of a stroke reading these lines, rest assured! “Like a phoenix rising from the ashes” (this is the expression used in the document describing “the operation”), the drawing estimated at 10 million dollars, of which a digital copy had been made before the burning, was miraculously transformed into 10,000 “Fridas.” NFT”.
Bringing Frida Khalo’s work to life forever in the digital realm »
Arguments that weigh little against the proclaimed ambition to “bring Frida Khalo’s work to life forever in the digital domain”. What raises the following question: should we see in Martin Mobarak’s approach a sign of the end of civilization or rather the intuition of a real anthropological shift in our relationship to works of art? A “destructive will or a demiurgic intention”, to use the pretty formula used by the journalist Simon Cherner in Le Figaro? And above all, does this “transfer of the work to the metaverse” herald a general shift in the art market to web 3.0?
As the daily MyArtBroker reports, Martin Mobarak’s staggering initiative is part of a larger trend: in March 2021, a group of traders reduced an authentic engraving by street artist Banksy (“Morons”) to ashes, estimated at $80,000. The work was immediately reincarnated online, in a digital version equipped with an NFT.
“Art will now live as NFT,” the collective said on Twitter. The intention was even more radical, since it was not a question of building bridges between the real and the virtual, but of effecting a transfer of the identity of the work of art from the real to the virtual. , while still retaining the ethical shield of philanthropic intention since the profits of this big speculative success had been donated to charities.
The transfer of the art world into the metaverse therefore seems an increasingly probable hypothesis. A single factor – but a major one – could dissuade all these little people: the collapse of the NFT market, of which the latest developments in the “FTX affair” give us a foretaste.