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ART & COLLECTABLES

The ‘Last Session’ Photoshoot by Kurt Cobain Will Be Sold as an NFT

On May 3rd, a photographer’s legendary pictures of Nirvana and the late rockstar will be auctioned off.

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© Jesse Frohman

You can see them if you close your eyes: the leopard print top, the boyish trapper cap, and the white Jackie O sunglasses. The objects are unmistakable when worn together, but their wearer appears to be distinctive from every perspective. Maybe it’s because Kurt Cobain’s personality was like a flame: it could be bold and vivid at times, but only when it wasn’t chaotically flickering or struggling to stay alive.

Soon, Nirvana frontman’s last formal photoshoot, which took place only months before his death in the spring of 1994, will be available to one mega-fan to closely explore the intimate moments.

Jesse Frohman, a photographer, launched a website on Wednesday to auction off an NFT containing more than 100 photographs from that day, dubbed “The Last Session.” According to Frohman, several contact sheets and negatives had never been screened prior to the development of this drop, so some of the photographs had never been seen publicly. Anyone can view thumbnails of the images online starting at 12:00 p.m. ET on April 28th, but only buyers can receive the high-resolution versions.

The auction will begin at 12:00 p.m. ET on May 3rd and end at 6:00 p.m. ET on May 7th. The starting offer for the one-of-a-kind Holy Grail is 27.27 ETH, which is approximately equivalent to $72,000 USD at press time.

“Everyone was doing an individual picture here, an individual picture there, maybe a group of three here,” Frohman says of bundling 104 pictures together on a single NFT. “This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that will not be repeated.” He sees the shoot as a significant historical event that needs to be honored. Frohman compares going through all of the pictures in one sitting to watching a movie because of Cobain’s ever-shifting energy. He describes it as “like a movie review.”

Although purchasing “The Last Session” NFT is the only way to see the unseen images, there are other, more accessible alternatives. The “Nevermind Editions,” which consist of ten one-of-a-kind, individually colorized quadriptychs of Cobain, have a starting bid of 2.7 ETH ($7,000 USD). One of these is framed and hangs on the wall behind Frohman as he speaks with Rolling Stone over Zoom from his living room. He says, “In truth, Miley Cyrus bought that one in the same size.”

Finally, the “In Utero Editions” are the cheapest, consisting of 20 five-of-five, individually colorized portraits and group shots of Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. These can be purchased outright for 1 ETH (approximately $2,600 USD) with “buy it now.”

© Jesse Frohman

A part of the proceeds will be donated to the JED Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing suicide and promoting mental health among teenagers in the United States. When asked whether any of the proceeds would go to the Cobain Estate or living Nirvana members, Frohman says no such plans have been made. The estate, on the other hand, is completely aware of the project and, as Frohman points out, is already working with the JED Foundation.

Though Frohman has sold work through galleries and other third parties in the past, he has never sold directly to collectors, so NFTs excite him. “Every now and then, a celebrity or someone can contact me directly, but for the most part, I don’t have that connection,” he says, adding that NFTs often offer his photos “a different kind of life.” “In the crypto world, I consider Kurt to be an idol and a kind of hero. They like going against the grain. That’s what Kurt was to me. He was vehemently anti-establishment, and he was not afraid to say so. I believe the NFT art space would pique his interest.”

These NFTs are not available on any online marketplace by design. Instead, the website that hosts the collections was designed by Serotonin, a self-described “marketing firm and product studio for revolutionary innovations” that launched almost a year ago. (Serotonin was also in charge of the tech, assembling the NFTs and arranging the drop.)

© Jesse Frohman

“We believe that the perfect experience for any brilliant, artistic artwork is total, complete immersion with the artist and the story behind it,” says Matthew Iles, Serotonin co-founder and partner. “We asked ourselves, ‘How can we give people a direct link to Kurt, Nirvana, and, by extension, Jesse?’ There are some nice choices in the existing NFT marketplace environment, but none that are completely owned and dedicated.”

Serotonin and Frohman were both adamant about not representing Cobain as a commodity in a large, virtual warehouse when they saw the finished set, which is intended to respect his individualistic existence. Frohman says, “I couldn’t comprehend being around CryptoPunks and being surrounded by that culture.” “They’re in perfect condition. I just had the feeling [this series] was going to get lost. And I wasn’t able to say the whole story, including the shoot and the drop.” He desired greater influence over the presentation and discussion. “I just think it’s more interesting this way,” he says.

ART & COLLECTABLES

In June, the volume of Ethereum NFT trading decreased by 70%, although sales remained stable

Although there is less money in NFTs, sales haven’t really slowed down.

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Despite the negative market, there is some good news regarding NFTs.

According to Nansen data, the overall amount of Ethereum NFT trades has decreased by 55% over the past month, falling from 1.3 million ETH to roughly 584,000 ETH. In terms of US dollars, that represents a decline of about 70% from just under $2.6 billion to about $672 million.

Over the past month, Ethereum’s price has decreased by around 43%. But because “blue chip” NFT prices haven’t increased to make up for it, fewer transactions are taking place.

Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT prices are still circling about 100 ETH among the top five listed NFT collections on OpenSea, with average ETH prices having essentially remained unchanged. The exception is CryptoPunks, whose buy-in floor pricing increased by 48 percent in part as a result of Christie’s head of digital sales taking over as the Punks’ new brand lead this month.

The unique blockchain tokens that represent ownership over digital art are still being bought and sold by NFT traders; they’re just purchasing less expensive tokens and “aping” into free mints like Goblintown, which launched a wave of free-to-mint NFT collections centered around bodily waste, nihilism, and memes.

According to data from CryptoSlam, the typical sale price for an Ethereum NFT dropped from $2,463 in May to barely $703, a 71% reduction. While a result, NFTs are often more expensive to buy as the crypto bear market persists.

OpenSea reported 1.478 million NFTs were sold on its platform in May. As of Wednesday, 1.476 million NFTs have been sold in June, thus it’s entirely probable that this month will see an increase in NFT sales over May. The Otherside NFTs from Yuga Labs, which saw $561 million traded in just one day, also significantly helped May’s results.

According to Dune data, the total number of registered users who have completed at least one transaction on OpenSea’s marketplace increased by a modest 6.5 percent. With a 16 percent drop from roughly 422,000 to 354,000, the number of active traders for Ethereum NFTs has only marginally decreased.

Nansen data show that there hasn’t been much of a reduction in the number of weekly active NFT projects that are seeing revenues. Three NFT collections—the same number as last month—have seen more than 10,000 sales. Only 30% fewer collections this month—from 109 to 76—saw more than a thousand sales in a given period. Therefore, NFT designers are still making sales, especially in collections with the biggest market caps.

Consequently, traders are still making trades even though overall volume may be down 55 to 70 percent in ETH and USD, respectively. Despite the fact that they are currently buying and selling for less, it appears that NFT aficionados still have hope.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

GIVENCHY PARFUMS, AMAR STUDIO, REWIND COLLECTIVE & VEVE REUNITE FOR THE CREATION OF AN NFT IN SUPPORT OF THE LGBTQIA+ CAUSE FOR PRIDE 2022

Fashion House, Artists and NFT Platform Team Up Once Again for Pride Month

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PARIS, June 23, 2022 – To mark Pride Month this year, Givenchy Parfums states its support for the LGBTQIA+ cause by reuniting with LGBTQIA activist Amar Singh, artists Rewind Collective & NFT platform VeVe, the largest mobile-first digital collectibles platform, for the release of a new digital collectible to be sold for charity releasing on Wednesday, June 29 at 12 p.m. PT. The release of the digital artwork, Pride II by Rewind Collective, will be sold for the benefit of the Le MAG Jeunes association, on VeVe’s digital collectible platform, available to download on the App Store and Google Play.

Drawing inspiration from the House’s Prisme Libre, combining four shades of colors, as well as the Rewind Collective’s Pixelated Heroes series, this original virtual artwork is being sold on VeVe in a limited series of 1952 editions. After the sale, the proceeds will be entirely donated to the Le MAG Jeunes association.

Titled “Pride II”, the artwork created by Rewind Collective for Givenchy Parfums is a series of animated portraits symbolizing diversity, the assertion of identity, and the fight for equal rights. Innovative photos, which the collective reinterpreted digitally in the colors of the Rainbow Flag, expres Givenchy’s commitment to a more diverse, more inclusive, more universal kind of beauty.

Through this initiative, Givenchy Parfums, Amar Studio & VeVe are proud to support Le MAG Jeunes (Movement for the Assertion of Young Gay, Lesbian, Bi & Trans people), a French association founded in Paris in 1985. Amar Singh continues to lead India’s national effort at the supreme court to abolish LGBT+ conversion therapy.  Aimed at the LGBTQIA+ young population (15 to 30), Le MAG Jeunes focuses on support and accompanying: it carries out awareness-raising missions in schools, offers cultural and educational activities, and provides psychological support to all those who need it. It also lobbies international institutions, so as to promote the implementation of more inclusive public policies, for today and tomorrow.

“Art remains one of the most powerful forms of self-expression, we’re honored to further the LGBTQIA+ cause so that everyone can present their authentic self,” said David Yu, Co-Founder of VeVe. “We are proud to support the LGBTQIA+ community and help fund the fight against LGBT phobias and sexism through the sales of this unique digital collectible.”

Last year the companies came together to sell the digital artwork, “Pride”, as a sign of support for the LGBTQIA+ cause and MAG. The $128,000 raised led to the organization:

  • Moving to a bigger space in Paris and opening of two new local centers for LGBT+ youth inclusion, to overcome isolation and that offers support and multiple activities. The Paris local group is now in the heart of the capital Quincampoix Street, Paris 4th, with a great space to welcome LGBT+ youth. And the two new branches are in Lyon and Clermont Ferrand. 
  • An increase of LGBT+ youth supported by the organization to 529. The foundation aims to support 1,600 youths thanks to the new spaces and new members of staff. 
  • Building and recruitment a team of professionals to accompany youth and fight LGBT phobias and sexism.
  • An increase of interventions in school from 3,000 students in 2021 to 11,360 in 2022, to prevent LGBT phobia and sexism in the education sector.

About VeVe:
Founded in 2018, VeVe was created by collectors, for collectors to bring premium licensed NFT digital collectibles to the mass market. With millions of active users and over 6      million NFTs sold, VeVe is the largest mobile-first digital collectibles platform and one of the top-grossing Entertainment Apps in the Google Play and Apple stores.

Utilizing both blockchain and augmented reality technologies, VeVe offers premium licensed collectibles from leading brands including DC Comics and Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, tokidoki, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and more. For the first time, these brands can provide customization to collectibles after their initial sale, creating endless revenue possibilities for products both new and previously offered. In addition, VeVe’s 3D augmented reality photo mode allows collectors to interact with every digital collectible, as well as share their collectibles through VeVe’s in-app social feed, or on external social platforms including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and more.

In March 2021, VeVe committed to 100% carbon neutral NFTs and provided $7+ million in grants to environmental nonprofits to raise money for causes through NFT promotions. In addition, VeVe uses Ethereum’s layer 2 scaling protocol, Immutable X, which provides instant trade confirmation, scalability (over 9,000 trades per second), zero gas fees, and a 99.9% reduction in environmental footprint.

The VeVe Digital Collectible app is available on both iOS and Android.

Learn more: VeVe.me | Twitter | Discord | Facebook | Instagram | Medium

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian luxury brand, has an NFT booth in SoHo

Customers can create and mint their own Ethereum-backed non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on OpenSea at a booth set up by Salvatore Ferragamo, an upscale clothing company with its headquarters in Florence, New York.

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The Salvatore Ferragamo concept store in the city’s SoHo neighborhood opened its doors on Friday, and the booth is a part of a bigger debut of the business. All visitors are eligible to receive free NFTs, which are limited to 256 in total. The brand will pay all associated costs up front to mint an NFT.

For the launch, the company is collaborating with artist Shxpir, who has previously created holographic handbags for businesses like Coach. Shxpir has produced 3D digital graphic elements for the NFTs for Salvatore Ferragamo.

Just one day after NFT, there will be a launch.

After a week of discussions about how fashion businesses may tap into the Web3 and NFT arena, NYC, a conference about non-fungible tokens in Times Square, comes to an end. Famous companies have lately debuted their own NFT collections, including Gucci, Prada, Bulgari, and many others.

Salvatore Ferragamo has previously entered the online space.

The company collaborated with Obsess, a virtual and augmented reality software platform that aids businesses in the establishment of interactive online storefronts and virtual experiences, last year. Customers could explore a virtual mansion that featured Ferragamo goods at the online store dubbed “House of Gifts.”

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