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Pablo Picasso enters NFT art market as family release tokens for ceramic heirloom

A ceramic art-work of Pablo Picasso is displayed in Cologny near Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022
A ceramic art-work of Pablo Picasso is displayed in Cologny near Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 Copyright Boris Heger/AP
Copyright Boris Heger/AP
By Euronews with AP
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The NFTs will also come with music put together by Florian Picasso, who is a DJ and music producer, along with songwriter John Legend and rapper, Nas.

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Pablo Picasso has been vaulted into digital commerce by his heirs.

The 20th-century Spanish artist's family is selling 1,010 digital art pieces of one of his ceramic works that has never been seen publicly. They will take the form of NFTs, digital tokens that are permeating all corners of traditional sales markets. 

In a Geneva apartment, swimming in works from their illustrious ancestor, Picasso's granddaughter, Marina Picasso, and her son Florian Picasso offer up a glimpse of the piece behind what they're billing as an unprecedented fusion of old-school fine art and digital assets.

AP Photo
Marina Picasso, right, granddaughter of artist Pablo Picasso, and her son Florian Picasso pose with the ceramic art-workAP Photo

"We're trying to build a bridge between the NFT world and the fine art world," says Florian Picasso, the artist's great-grandson.

Marina Picasso says the cherished pottery piece dates to October 1958, when she was a child.

"It's a work that represents a face, and it's very expressive," she says. "It's joyful, happy. It represents life ... It's one of those objects that have been part of our life, our intimate lives - my life with my children."

Sotheby's is hosting an auction in March that will include a unique NFT as well as the actual ceramic bowl.

Florian Picasso says the family on the colorful ceramic piece because it was "a fun one" to start. But he believes that the NFT honours the great artist.

"I think it fits within Picasso's legacies because we are paying tribute to him and his way of working, which was always being creative," he says.

Boris Heger/AP
Marina Picasso, right, granddaughter of artist Pablo Picasso, and her son Florian Picasso in their Geneva apartmentBoris Heger/AP

Some of the proceeds will be donated: one portion to a charity that aims to help overcome a shortage of nurses, and another to a nongovernmental organisation that wants to help reduce carbon in the atmosphere. The NFTs will also come with music put together by Florian Picasso, who is a DJ and music producer, along with songwriter John Legend and rapper Nas.

Even a full rendering of that track isn't being publicly released just yet. Florian Picasso played a snippet, then turned it off.

"And to hear more, you gotta purchase the NFT," he quips.

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