Home Digital art Pharrell’s GODA Ends Hilma af Klint NFT Art Auction Amid Family Complaints

Pharrell’s GODA Ends Hilma af Klint NFT Art Auction Amid Family Complaints


In short

  • Artwork platform NFT Gallery of Digital Assets (GODA) held an auction for Hilma af Klint’s NFTs this week.
  • The late artist’s family members have complained about the NFT auction, but the official Foundation is involved in the project.

Co-founded by musician Pharrell Williams earlier this yearthe Gallery of Digital Assets (GODA) provides a platform for traditional artists to enter the NFT space, and delivered drops of Nina Chanel Abney and Todd James.

But its latest NFT launch was mired in controversy after some of the late artist’s descendants complained.

God launched an auction Monday for symbolic digital recreations of an influential Swedish abstract artist Hilma on Klintthe artwork. The “Paintings for the Temple” Ethereum The NFTs were created by GODA in partnership with Stolpe Publishing, digital art platform Acute Art and the Hilma af Klint Foundation.

Ultimately, two identical sets of 193 NFT digital recreations of Af Klint’s artwork were minted, with one “non-commercial” set donated to the Foundation. Of the other set, 163 NFTs were auctioned this week, with another 30 pieces held by the GODA team. NFTs were launched in tandem with the late artist’s official recieved catalogor a complete collection of his work.

But as the Official Foundation participated in the GODA auction, family members of the late artist (Hilma af Klint died in 1944) spoke out against the launch of NFT.

In an interview with the art publication Hyperallergic this week, af Klint’s great-nephew Johan af Klint and Hedvig Ersman—granddaughter of Erik af Klint, Hilma af Klint’s nephew—challenged the creation of the NFTs, saying they were going to against the will of the artist. Ersman had tweeted the criticism of the sale of NFT earlier this month.

“She considered these paintings to be part of the same project. They were meant to stay together,” Ersman told the publication. “They are not meant to be hung on the living room wall by one person. Now, with the NFT, they are marketing it, using Hilma af Klint’s name and reputation to subvert its message.

An NFT is a blockchain token that represents ownership of an item, in this case a digital recreation of the original physical artwork. NFTs are also used for things like profile pictures, collectibles, and video game items, as well as physical goods and event ticketing.

The work itself is in the public domain, and Hilma af Klint Foundation CEO Jessica Höglund said Hyperallergic that it was not “in [a] possibility of authorizing or opposing such reproductions. However, she said the Foundation has a partnership in place with Stolpe for the recieved catalogand this agreement includes NFTs.

Thursday, just before the end of the auction, GODA tweeted a statement noting that he “[affirmed] that all necessary contracts and agreements are in place to validate the authenticity of the project” via the Foundation. GODA shared a new statement with Decrypt regarding the situation, claiming that family members had “falsely” attempted to represent the Foundation.

“GODA was not made aware of any unhappy family [members] before they start misrepresenting the Foundation on Twitter,” the statement read. “It was the first time that we were aware of concerns. We entered into an agreement with Acute Art and Stolpe Publishing who gave us this opportunity because we are the most legitimate and credible art platform in the digital space.

“Between our parties, we have a very solid legal agreement directly with the Foundation. It is our understanding that he is a distant relative who has no involvement with the Foundation,” the statement continued. “The Foundation has also made an official announcement clarifying this and detailing why the recieved catalog, and by extension the NFT project, is important to Hilma’s work.

The GODA auction ended as scheduled yesterday, with 163 coins finally selling for 1.5 ETH each, or just over $1,800 each. The auction format ranked bidders by how much they were willing to pay, but set the final price based on what the 163rd highest bidder offered.

In other words, the top 163 bidders each paid 1.5 ETH at the end, and buyers received a rebate for any overbid amount. GODA Mint Pass NFT holders also got a refund for a 15% discount on the sale price. The artwork was revealed today, allowing shoppers to see which random piece they purchased from the drop.

This isn’t the first instance of a famous artist’s surviving family members complaining about a seemingly official NFT drop. Earlier this year, relatives of Pablo Picasso complained when the late artist’s great-grandson, Florian Picasso released NFTs inspired by Pablo’s work. The Picasso family resolved the quarrel a little after.

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