According to an announcement shared with Decrypt, Authentic Brands Group (ABG) will auction off a collection of tokenized artworks inspired by Marilyn Monroe.
ABG, a brand management company that owns the majority stake in intellectual property rights of famous American actress, model, and singer Marilyn Monroe, has partnered with Ethernity Chain “to eternalize the star’s legacy” in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They are also the official licensor of other notable figures including Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley, and more.
“Marilyn Monroe’s persona has captured the imagination of artists, creators, and art collectors for decades,” said Jim Gibb, creative director at The Marilyn Monroe Estate, in the press release. “Through groundbreaking NFT technology, her image will continue to fascinate and inspire the art community through this new medium.”
Thanks to their provable scarcity and authenticity, NFTs can serve as digital certificates of ownership, which collectors have sometimes spent millions to own. More often than not, such tokens are being sold as representations of various digital media today, including artworks, music, or video clips.
ABG’s NFT collection, titled “Marilyn Monroe Metamorphosis,” will include numerous artworks created by Blunt Action, Starving AI, Aitana Basquiat, Grace Casas, Drella Drexler, Jason Ebeyer, Andre Holzmeister, Blake Kathryn, Vasya, Vincent Viriot, and Bloo Woods.
The @MarilynMonroe Metamorphosis Collection #aNFT, June 1st featuring artists: @blunt_action, @AitanaBasquiat, @BlooWoods, @GraceMarieCasas, Starving Al, Drella Drexler, @jasonebeyer, @A_Holzmeister, @blakekathryn, @FMK7 and Vasya Kolotusha. pic.twitter.com/qBhdCJ74LL
— Ethernity Chain (@EthernityChain) May 31, 2021
The event kicks off today at 12 pm EST, and the works will be available on Ethernity.io.
“There could not be a more iconic first female celebrity to drop on Ethernity,” added Nick Rose, founder and CEO of Ethernity Chain.
Monroe's Posthumous profits
Monroe’s image and intellectual property have been bringing millions of dollars in profit to its legal owners without NFTs or blockchain over the past half-century.
Just last year, she reportedly was the 13th highest-paid dead celebrity—and the only woman—on the list that also included George Harrison, Freddie Mercury, Prince, John Lennon, Bob Marley, Juice WRLD, Kobe Bryant, Elvis Presley, Arnold Palmer, Charles Shulz, Dr. Seuss, and Michael Jackson.
According to various sources, ABG owns the rights to only 75% of Marilyn Monroe's intellectual property, which it bought from Anna Strasberg (Mizrahi), the second wife of Monroe’s acting coach Lee Strasberg, in 2011.
The remaining 25% was given to Monroe’s therapist, Marianne Kris, and later transferred to the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in London, founded by Zigmund Freud’s daughter.
ABG itself did not specify how proceeds from its NFT auction will be distributed. Decrypt has reached out to Authentic Brands Group to clarify this but did not receive a reply at press time.
In late April, photographer Jesse Frohman launched a similar auction—which also involved a deceased celebrity—and sold the last known photoshoot of legendary Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain as NFT.