We don’t always remember that playing with fire can have consequences. like him Martin Mubarak, a Mexican businessman, may not have considered the legal ramifications of his act when he decided to publicly burn a work by Frida Kahlo. In fact, he thought it would pay off Millions of dollars. Instead of dollars, a few have arrived and the consequences are now being scrutinized by justice Mexican.
Mubarak burns a work by Frida Kahlo
The burning work is “Fantasmas Sinistros”
It was July 30, and there was a pool party at his villa you love Me, fl. In the video, which has been circulating on social media since September, Mubarak is in the spotlight. He dismantled the frame, and brought out Frida Kahlo’s drawing titled evil ghostsHe puts it on a martini glass, setting the alcohol on fire and turning to ashes. Mariachi play clear skyGuests (artists, collectors, designers) applaud. It is one in all respects performance, one of those that will remain in the imagination of many. They are guided by the bold idea that burning a work in its true form makes it timeless and unique in the virtual world thanks to NFT technology.
What are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), digital certificates that can be worth millions of dollars, and how do they work
For those who don’t remember what it is, NFT (Non-fungible tokens) is an encrypted “token” that serves to prove the authenticity and ownership of a digital file. can be compared to certificate Authenticity obtained by purchasing a work of art. But each NFT is unique, non-replicable, verifiable via the blockchain and above all, incorruptible.
Gesture Mubarak, the endless exaggeration in the world of NFTs
Mubarak’s gesture is inscribed – and arrived with a certain delay – in the recent history of NFTs. It was invented in 2010, and it began to be widely talked about only in 2017, when the site Crypto cats Opening up the possibility of buying in cryptocurrency to the public and “breeding” limited edition digital cats. The uniqueness of these digital felines (similar to ancient tamagotchi), which would itself be infinitely repeatable, is strictly validated by NFT certification. After I went from the first 100 samples to 2 million, I got to i $7.27 million in September 2021.
NFTs generated more than $25 billion in sales that year. In early 2021, the founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey An NFT has sold for the social media’s first tweet for $2.9 million, while The New York Times has sold an article written specifically for columnist Kevin Rose titled Buy this column on Blockchain for 563 million dollars (later given to charity).
NFT market crash
It was the beginning of the great (and extreme Energy consumption) the financial bubble from NFTs, which is already declining so dramatically, that Sina Estavi, the Malaysian businessman who bought Dorsey’s first tweetIn the spring of 2022 he attempts to resell it, believing it to be worth $50 million. The biggest bid was instead $29: 0.0001% of the original value. In general, NFT sales decreased by 60% Only in the third quarter of this year, from 12.5 billion in the first quarter of the year, to 8.4 billion in the second quarter, and finally to 3.4 billion in the third quarter. In general, the value has been in the past few months collapsed by 97%. And the art market, which reached 144 million last fall, is now around 9.4.
Returning to Martin Mubarak, his move could not have come at a worse time even without the serious legal repercussions he faces. Of the 10,000 tokens he’s created (corresponding to $10 million worth of work), Only 4 were sold And some are at a steep discount, valued at less than $11,200.
Why Mubarak decided to burn the painting
But let’s go back a few years to explain how he came to set painting on fire evil ghosts. in 2018 Terrence Edenan employee of the UK Government Digital Service, is registered as the author and rightful owner of Gioconda “Examining” the implications of NFTs.
Question and Answer
Non-fungible tokens, blockchain, copyright. Are you hearing more and more about it and want to understand what it is?
On the one hand, it highlights the apparent paradox: even if Eden appears in the digital world as the author and rightful owner of the Mona Lisa, this does not allow him to exercise any right over the painting in the painting. Louvre Museum. On the other hand, Eden wanted to consider the fact that it would be impossible to “permanently assign a digital certificate to a physical work of art”. Because nothing can stop the broker from Replace or change the actual work.
The goal (theoretical): Convert the value of physical work into an NFT
And already in March 2021 the blockchain company injection protocol Business bought Banksy, “converted” it to an NFT and finally publicly burned it. Explaining that otherwise its value will remain in physical work rather than digital certificates. The injection protocol initiated a number of similar gestures. For example, Damien Hirst recently burned millions of dollars’ worth of artwork for the “Currency” project.
This explains the origin of Mubarak’s idea. However, unlike him, Damien Hirst was an author and full owner of his own work, and Banksy’s work was legally purchased by Injective Protocol.
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Problems of the Mexican Entrepreneur: The work of Frida Kahlo is a national heritage
Frida Kahlo’s work was considered instead Mexican National HeritageNo one has the right to spoil or destroy it. The National Institute of Fine Arts and Letters, Mexico’s main cultural authority, said it had launched investigations to verify originality from drawing. If that was indeed the case, Mubarak would take a risk Ten years imprisonment And a fine equal to the cost of the artwork. But even if it was fake, there would be consequences: you would have broken the law Copyrights Or that they are also investigated for fraud.
The application of NFTs to the art world has sparked a lot of excitement: the auction in which the work of a non-famous artist like Beeple sold for $69 million has legalized the possibility Limit the use of intermediaries In art, where the audience directly decides what is more valuable and what is less valuable.
Moreover, Terrence Eden’s gesture captured the hearts of those who saw it as a vegan and post-modern way of undermining authorship principle. Maybe there is this too, but mostly it sounds like a story of a financial bubble, where billions of dollars flew, which burst early and had a significant environmental impact because the energy required to buy NFT coincides with the daily consumption of households. In this story, Mubarak’s story is a less modern epilogue but it is equally postmodern.