Last summer, millionaire Martín Mobarak burned an untitled drawing by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. He plans to sell 10,000 copies of the original in the form of NFTs – digital certificates or cryptographic tokens used to record the value of tangible assets. The artwork – which reads the words “eerie ghosts” – was valued at $10 million. Mobarak says his act will transform the world of digital art.
Kahlo’s drawing is one of the items found in his diary, dated between 1944 and 1954. Mobarak – who identifies himself as an NFT philanthropist and investor – is the founder of the Frida.NFT initiative. Her website curiously states that by digitizing the destroyed original, Kahlo’s art will be brought “into the metaverse… [merging] the traditional art world with the digital art world.
The Mexican millionaire bought the image in 2015 from the Mary-Anne Martin Gallery in New York. He insists that with the creation of this NFT, the charities he plans to donate to will receive “constant” help. He also admits that the engraving of the drawing can be “misunderstood”. However, he still claims that it will lead to the immortalization of the artist.
“Burning the work will help create a new group of collectors,” explains the founder. He even claims – without any proof – that if Frida Kahlo knew the destination of the donations he intends to make, she would have told him to “burn everything”.
Mobarak set the drawing on fire at a July 30 event in Miami. Online, the millionaire is now inviting the general public to buy what he considers the “most historic NFT in existence” by next November.
Both sides of the drawing have been scanned. On the last page, it includes the words “Chromophore” and “Auxochrome” – two scientific terms that the Mexican artist has adopted as names for herself and her partner, artist Diego Rivera. In other pages of Kahlo’s diary – part of the collection of the Frida Kahlo Museum in the borough of Coyoacán in Mexico City – the painter describes herself as “Chromophore, the one who receives color” and Rivera as “Auxochrome, the one which captures the color”. ”
Mobarak thinks the work expresses love and pain. The love is reflected in the terms with which Kahlo referred to herself and her partner; the pain is embodied by the “sinister ghosts” that, according to the Mobaraks, the artist captured to manifest his fear.