GODA’s Hilma af Klint NFT Art Auction Faces Family Complaints
Opposition arises in pursuit of the late artist’s true wishes.
The art series consisted of 193 paintings by the renowned Swedish abstract artist, Hilma af Klint.
As Hilma af Klint passed in 1944, the paintings were released as NFTs on GODA’s platform from Hilma af Klint’s official art catalog produced by Stolpe Publishing with the endorsement of the Hilma af Klint Foundation and digital art platform, Acute Art.
The entire supply of the NFT sold out by the close of the auction on November 17.
“Hilma af Klint was an amazing visionary! I love her work and find it great that she finally gets the attention she deserves. During her lifetime the audience wasn’t ready, but today we are. She painted for the future. She painted for us!” said American artist and designer Kaws.
Despite the official involvement in the GODA release, af Klint’s family members recently broke their silence in disapproval of the NFT launch.
On November 8, Af Klint’s grandnephew, Johan af Klint, and granddaughter of Hilma af Klint’s nephew, Hedvig Ersman shared their opposition against the NFT sale on Twitter – arguing that the digital assets went against the artist’s desires.
2. It is not even the Hilma af Klint Foundation selling the paintings, but Acute Art / Stolpe Förlag through GODA.
The paintings belong to the Hilma af Klint Foundation. The ethical rights to the paintings also belong to the Hilma af Klint Foundation. Read copyright law.
— Hilma af Klint (@hilma_af_klint) November 8, 2022
“Even if you don’t believe in spirits, everyone carries spiritual beliefs and aspirations for something higher in life. Hilma af Klint’s paintings speak to us about that … That they’re being monetized, and itemized, and sold as NFTs — this completely goes against the will of Hilma af Klint,” said Ersman in an interview with Hyperallergic.
As af Klint is recognized as one of the earliest abstract artists, the Paintings for the Temple were inspired by her spiritual practice and religious traditions.
GODA was proud to continue af Klint’s legacy by bringing her works from a century ago onto the blockchain as NFTs.
— Gallery Of Digital Assets (@TheGoda_io) October 28, 2022
However, according to Hyperallergic’s interview, Johan af Klint shared that the paintings were not intended to be commercialized or even split apart into 162 different assets.
“They’re not meant for a person to have hanging on their wall in the living room. Now, with the NFT, they’re commercializing it, using Hilma af Klint’s name and reputation to subvert her message,” Johan af Klint told Hyperallergic.
Jessica Höglund, CEO of The Hilma Af Klint Foundation told Hyperallergic that the Foundation had no position to permit or oppose such reproduction of the artwork, but it does have a partnership with Stolpe for the artist’s catalog raisonné, which includes the permission to issue NFTs.
In response to the controversy, GODA confirmed that the collection was in compliance with the necessary contracts and agreements.
— Gallery Of Digital Assets (@TheGoda_io) November 17, 2022
GODA also shared a statement with Decrypt, claiming that af Klint’s family members had “falsely” attempted to represent the Foundation.
“GODA was not made aware of any unhappy family [members] before they began to falsely represent the Foundation on Twitter. This was the first time we were aware of any concerns. We did a deal with Acute Art and Stolpe Publishing who brought this opportunity to us, as we are the most legitimate and credible art platform in the digital space. Between our parties, we have a very sound legal agreement directly with the Foundation. From our understanding, this is a distant relative that has no involvement with the Foundation whatsoever,” read the statement to Decrypt.
It is worth noting that GODA is not the first platform to honor late artists through the use of NFTs.
OneOf, the NFT platform that connects fans to their favorite artists, previously collaborated with the official estate of the influential rapper, Biggie Smalls to launch “The Sky’s the Limit: The Notorious B.I.G. NFT Collection.”
The NFTs included the licensing rights to Smalls’ historic unreleased “Fulton Street Freestyle” and a gamified virtual experience titled “The Brook.”
David Bowie’s estate also brought the legendary musical figure to the blockchain with the release of “Bowie On The Blockchain.” Nine recognized NFT artists like FEWOCiOUS and PussyRiot created their own digital interpretation of Bowie’s influence using the artist’s archived belongings.
The tribute paid respect to Bowie’s dedication to utilizing unique methods and modern technology to generate new forms of art.
In other NFT news, The Hundreds’ Badam Bomb Squad launch latest NFTs on their own website.