Fans Don't Like the Idea of David Bowie NFTs: Here's Why

With artists across the world uniting to pay tribute to rocker David Bowie, who died in 2016, via non-fungible tokens, many fans aren't impressed. He was one of the first musicians to realize how much the internet would change the music business giving artists more control over their own work.

Bowie was an internet enthusiast. He helped co-found BowieNet, internet service provider, in 1998. He displayed his own art and from others on the website The musician believed that digital media would give artists more opportunities to work independently and own, and benefit from their own work. Bowie's Estate sold the rocker's publishing catalog to Warner Chappell in 2021.

Bowie on the Blockchain

The David Bowie Estate will launch Bowie on the Blockchain – a sale of NFTs created by multiple artists -on September 13. It will take place on OpenSea, an online NFT marketplace.

The digital collectible sale was developed in partnership with We Love Arts and film producer Joaquin Acrich. The artists involved in this initiative include JAKE, FEWOCiOUS and Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot. The estate's proceeds will go to CARE, a humanitarian nonprofit for which Bowie's widow Iman serves as global advocate.

Andrew Keller, the co-founder of We Love The Arts, artist manager and former label executive, said there was a huge visual component to everything Bowie did. He described the musician as a painter and an art collector. Keller said Bowiw on the Blockchain is about going into this space and engaging with NFT artists in their world. He shared that all artists had the opportunity to use items from Bowie's archive.

Top Google searches of 2016
6. David Bowie: David Bowie, the visionary British rock star who coupled hits such as "Space Oddity" with trend-setting pop personas like "Ziggy Stardust," died at age 69 in January of liver cancer, just two days after releasing what appears to be the parting gift of a new album.

Bill Zysblat, Bowie's longtime business manager, highlighted that the idea that artists of toda utilizing the latest technology were influenced even in the least by David would have made him as proud as anything he would have created on his own. He believes that anyone who knew him knows he would have been one of the first adopters of Web 3.0.

Inspire others

FEWOCiOUS, who is a big Bowie fan, hopes Bowie on the Blockchain will inspire other legacy acts and estates to explore similar ideas. The trans artist wants artists to do more with Web3. FEWOCiOUS believes a lot of artists see it as just another business avenue. The artist said a lot of people see NFTs as just digital but he wanted to make this with his hands – a sculpture that's connected to a picture so it can live in real life and on the internet. FEWOCiOUs doesn't think people are exploring the physical and the NFT.

The avid fan made a seven-foot-tall statue of Bowie out of wire, cardboard and Styrofoam complete with foam Mars rocks. The sculpture has Bowie's clothes, a suit from the 1990s and a pair of his painted Levi's that FEWOCiOUS got from the musician's estate. This sculpture also exists on blockchain.

Many Fans are Unhappy

However, many fans have expressed displeasure about the NFTs. Several social media users aren't happy to see the legendary star's likeness associated with the blockchain tokens. Some even urged the Bowie Estate "don't do this". Duncan Jones, who is Bowie's son and a filmmaker, called the digital collectibles a "fad". He had made fun of the idea of sharing someone's NFT. Jones jokes that because he was able to save and repost the image of Beeple's "The First 5000 Days", it had become lost. He had also called Christie's auction, where the NFT had sold for a whopping $69.3 million, "suspicious".