Nirvana Photographer Responds to Backlash Over Concert Photo NFTs

Photography News

Last week, it was revealed that a set of photos taken from a 1991 Nirvana concert would be made available as NFTs on Kurt Cobain’s birthday. The announcement was met with considerable backlash, and the photographer took to Twitter to address fan concerns.

The Nirvana History Auction

The photos in question were taken by photographer Faith West and feature “never before seen” images of the rock band six days after the release of their “Nevermind” album, “just weeks before they became famous.” The auction is being held by Pop Legendz and will offer four unique NFTs of GIF artworks that were crafted from five of the images. Additionally, 10 still images in both black and white and color will be included in the auction.

Those who purchase the NFTs will also receive a framed, fine-art 16×24-inch print of one image, signed by the photographer. The GIF moving image composites will start at 67 ETH, which is about $250,000, while the still images are set to start at 1 ETH, or about $3,000. The auction is set to open on February 20, what would have been Kurt Cobain’s 55th birthday.

The Backlash and Response

The topic of NFTs is regularly met with mixed reception, and Nirvana fans were particularly vocal with questions and concerns about the sale. Reported by LoudWire, West responded to several of them through the Pop Legendz Twitter account and attempted to put fans at ease by stating the benefits of NFTs for photographers and also specifying that half of the proceeds from the sale will benefit The Trevor Project, a non-profit that assists at-risk LGBTQ+ youth and works to prevent suicides.

“Hey, I get why you are suspicious of my project. I’m also a Nirvana fan, and I’m respectful of you and all fans defending Kurt’s memory. There’s been a lot to hate about the way he’s been ‘remembered’ since his death. My project is a little different, so I hope you’ll hear me out,” West says.

“NFTs, for all their downsides, allow artists to retain copyright and make a little royalty off all future sales. We make so little for our labor. Right-clicking and copying has made slaves of so many artists. NFTs have given us back some dignity,” the photographer argues.

Despite some rather loud opposition to the plan, West and Pop Legendz have not wavered from the plan and the sale is still scheduled for February 20.


Image credits: Elements of header photo licensed via Depositphotos.

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