Posthumous NFTs are not just a fad. As an artist’s work can be released posthumously either as a tribute or a cash grab, why can’t the same be done in NFTs?
Especially now that we have avatars extending our career spans, can’t we have NFTs growing an artist into Web3 immortality?
It might just be the case that posthumous publications will continue to expand into Web3, and NFTs are the perfect host for artistic expression.
Recent collections for the Notorious B.I.G have made headlines, and many celebrity estates may follow.
What Is a Posthumous NFT?
When an artist’s finished or unfinished work gets published after their death, which would only benefit the estate and its heirs, we call it a posthumous publication. There are arguments for and against such publications in all art forms. An NFT would be the blockchain version of whatever the artist did.
Think of Anthony Hopkins’ recent NFT collection. Had he done all the work but passed before seeing its fruition, it would have been classed posthumous. It’s entirely different if it’s unfinished work that an artist never planned to release.
The Argument Against Posthumous Publications
The biggest issue with Posthumous Publications is that they can be seen as a cash grab. If it is shortly after a person’s death, with high emotions, there are always vultures looking to make a profit somehow.
Those against any publications after an artist’s death stem from integrity, almost. A creeping doubt that the work might not have the author/artist/musician’s stamp of approval.
Many argue that only work released during a person’s lifetime counts as their work. A counter to that is the idea of the tribute. When making a tribute, it’s done in honor of the deceased, commemorating their work and comforting the fans.
The Argument Against a Cash Grab
This comfort that fans feel when supporting the artist’s memory is the biggest argument against the cash grab.
Look at it this way, when an artist suddenly dies. You find the star of their old hit at the top of the charts as fans listen to the artists in their glory days.
Fans reminisce, and the estate benefits as a result, but not necessarily was that the intention. Those who claim it was all for the money may not see the sentiment behind the fans’ support. Demand creates supply in these cases.
Are Posthumous NFTs a Passing Fad?
As NFTs are becoming increasingly accepted despite market highs and lows, it is unsurprising that posthumous tributes take the form of NFTs. The fact they can be short clips containing moving image and sound enable artists’ work of all types to be in NFT form.
NFTs can be updated and resold with a profit for the original seller, meaning the artist, though deceased, can continue to profit from their work.
As long as the NFT collection is not a blatant cash grab, fans would probably support the collections as they offer dynamic experiences that previous technology didn’t allow. It seems posthumous NFTs are not just a fad.