Jesse Frohman, the photographer who shot Kurt Cobain’s last official photoshoot, is turning the complete collection of film from that shoot into an NFT. The auction will take place from May 3-7 at the site Frohman set up to promote it. Sample photos and more details are also available at that site. Bids begin at 27.27 ETH, which is worth just over $74,000 USD at this time.
There will also be NFTs sold of 10 four-photo “quadriptychs” called the “Nevermind” editions starting at 2.7 ETH (~7,345 USD currently) as well as 20 NFTs of single images from the shoot called the “In Utero” editions starting from 1 ETH (~2,720 USD currently). An undisclosed portion of the proceeds will go to Jed Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that specials in emotional health and suicide prevention.
“Of course I had no idea that this would be the last shoot that Kurt ever did, in fact I had no idea for a very long time that it was,” Frohman begins on the site. “I got excited when I first learned about NFTs and they were described to me as collectibles like a baseball card. And I thought that the original pictures from the shoot are like that, and Kurt has the iconic status of a great baseball player.
The photos show Cobain wearing white wide-rim sunglasses and a trapper hat with two different jackets, one leopard-print and the other a gray pattern. In some of the photos, he’s seen on stage ahead of a gig they were gonna play that day. In others, he’s joined by the other members of Nirvana.
Frohman detailed how the shoot went down, “When Kurt showed up (and this is in the basement of a hotel in a kind of nondescript conference room), he showed up with a bag of clothes under his arm and he had his head down. All he said is ‘Do you have a bucket?’ and I said ‘What do you need a bucket for?’ He said ‘I think I’m gonna puke’ and I said ‘Well, we’ll get a bucket.’ In fact, you can see the bucket in some of the pictures.”
Clarifying what the winner of the collection will see, he continued, “I’m inviting people into my experience when I look at it. So, when I look at the film I see the rebate edges. I marked things up with X’s, sometimes I draw on the contact sheets or the prints. These generally don’t make it into the gallery. It took a long time before I realized that these images were as important as they have become now. Sure, it’s obvious that with time, time filters out what’s important and what isn’t, and what has value. That’s – in life. But it took years before I realized that it had something really special.”
On the charity angle of the auction, he added, “We’ll be giving a portion of the proceeds to the JED Foundation, a foundation that works to promote emotional health and to prevent suicide amongst teens, especially in the LGBT community, which is cause that Kurt was passionate about. It’s really important to me that these NFTs bring some good to the world, just like Kurt did with his music.”