‘Free Comb with Pagoda’ (1986) by Jean-Michael Basquiat. Image via DaystromNFT / openPR
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1986 mixed-media work on paper, Free Comb with Pagoda (1986), has been turned into a non-fungible token (NFT) and is now on sale on crypto art marketplace OpenSea.
And in a bizarre twist, the winning bidder will have the choice of destroying the physical art piece, leaving the NFT as “the only remaining form” of the artwork. The online auction is currently live, and will end on Friday, April 30.
The auction, where bidding starts from one Ethereum (approximately US$2,500), is sponsored by Daystrom, the firm behind the online bank launched by late singer David Bowie, BowieBank, in 2000.
Its anonymous founders said in a statement: “Markets no longer trade upon consensus alone, it’s anonymity, exclusivity, authenticity, and individuality that determine value on the Blockchain today; NFTs are an asset whose time has come.”
The highest bidder will receive an encrypted digitized token of the artwork, along with the piece’s IP and copyright in perpetuity.
According to The Art Newspaper, Free Comb with Pagoda previously failed to sell at Heritage Auctions in Texas in 2012 for US$80,000 to US$120,000. But the new NFT pull might be just what it needs to fetch a high price, given the predominance of NFTs right now.