Soon after the NFT project on the works of artist Hilma af Klint was announced, her relative has publicly condemned the move.
The criticism came from Hedvig Ersman, who is the granddaughter of Erik af Klint (nephew of the artist). Ersman insisted that Klint always saw her works as spiritual projects – a reason why she insisted that her works not be made public until two decades after death. In her own words, she explains:
“She saw these paintings as all part of one project. They were meant to be kept together. They’re not meant for a person to have hanging on their wall in the living room. […] Even if you don’t believe in spirits, everyone carries spiritual beliefs and aspirations for something higher in life. Hilma af Klint’s paintings speak to us about that … That they’re being monetized, and itemized, and sold as NFTs — this completely goes against the will of Hilma af Klint.”
Earlier this week, Stolpe Publishing, Acute Art, and GODA announced that works from Hilma af Klint series “Paintings for the Temple” (1906-1915) have been converted into NFTs and would be sold at auctions. Three members at the Hilma af Klint Foundation also worked at Stolpe Publishing, which allowed the latter to get rights to tokenize her works. They collaborated with Acute Art – an AR and VR company – and GODA (a digital art gallery founded by music artist Pharrell Williams).
The group didn’t yet comment on Ersman’s criticism. The auction for the NFTs (which would exclude any physical works) is reportedly going forward as usual.