[Editor Charlie sez, I’m shocked, shocked that there are shenanigans in the NFT market. Good thing we have that transformational blockchain ledger thingie in the ether.]
An NFT of a drawing by Jean-Michel Basquiat has been withdrawn from sale on OpenSea after the late artist’s estate confirmed the seller does not own the licence or rights to the work.
David Stark, the licensing agent who deals with Basquiat’s archive, tells The Art Newspaper: “The estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat owns the copyright in the artwork referenced. No license or rights were conveyed to the seller and the NFT has subsequently been removed from sale.”
The auction of the NFT of the 1986 mixed media work on paper, Free Comb with Pagoda, was sponsored by the little-known firm Daystrom, which had claimed the transaction would “memorialise ownership” as well as “reproduction and IP rights that will be sold to the highest bidder in perpetuity”.
The winning bidder was also given the option to destroy the physical drawing—which raised issues about the artist’s moral rights.