David Bowie Is Back! Posthumous NFTs to Shed Light on Gender

The Alpha:

In a series of now-deleted posts on Instagram and Twitter, David Bowie’s estate announced the September 13 launch of an NFT collection celebrating the rock icon’s legendary career that famously explored gender and performativity.The NFT collection, entitled “Bowie On The Blockchain,” will feature the works of nine NFT artists whose works will reflect some of Bowie’s masterful life work.Headlining the collection are crypto artists FEWOCiOUS and Pussy Riot Co-Founder Nadya Tolokonnikova, among others. Proceeds of the sale will go toward the nonprofit organization CARE.

Why it matters:

Unfortunately, as with prior projects bearing the names of late pop culture icons, the buzz surrounding this upcoming NFT project has been largely negative amongst Bowie’s core fandom members. A particularly biting piece of criticism levied towards the project is how it supposedly betrays a core piece of Bowie’s legacy — namely, his futurist tendencies.

Don’t do this. DB was ahead of his time on so many things, not just musically – the early days of the internet, etc.
THIS isn’t novel or new. Not even interesting.

— Wilson (@WilsonsWorld) September 6, 2022

Notably, among disappointed members of Bowie’s fanbase is a self-proclaimed “web3/nft aficionado” — if even Web3 optimists aren’t too thrilled with this announcement, then who would be happy to hear this? Perhaps it would be worth looking through the socials of the artists slated for inclusion in this project.

Honoured to be working with the @DavidBowieReal estate! Can’t wait to share the full painting pic.twitter.com/ZbFXqeyEmy

— Jonathan Wolfe (@JonathanWWolfe) September 6, 2022

Amidst the negative Twitter commentary directed towards the Bowie account are congratulatory messages for the artists involved, who are understandably excited about honoring the late rock legend’s life and career through their work. Adding to the prestige of this commission is how Bowie’s estate granted artists permission to use items from Bowie’s personal archive in their work. For instance, FEWOCiOUS prepared a sculpture for the collection that’s set to wear one of Bowie’s “original outfits.”

AHHHH I AM SO EXCITED here’s a sneak peak of the sculpture I made for the @DavidBowieReal Estate wearing ONE OF HIS ORIGINAL OUTFITS to benefit CARE I can’t wait to show you the rest of the piece when it reveals this Thursday pic.twitter.com/mJK40g1sA5

— FEWOCiOUS (@fewocious) September 6, 2022

What’s next:

Regardless of this upcoming project’s reception, one thing’s for certain: Should it succeed, it would further demonstrate the power of NFTs in fundraising efforts. As it stands, proceeds from the upcoming sale of these NFTs will benefit CARE — an anti-poverty nonprofit organization that features Bowie’s widow Iman as its first-ever global advocate.

Would Bowie himself have approved of this collection? Or even Web3 as a whole? Some of Bowie’s closest associates believe so. In an interview with Billboard, Bowie’s business manager Bill Zysblat stated that “anyone who knew him knows he would have been one of the first adopters of [Web3].” Given Bowie’s status as one of the internet’s earliest advocates, that might not be too unreasonable of an assessment. Let’s hope more of his followers open their minds in a similar fashion.

But wait, there’s more:

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