The family of the world-renowned painter Frida Kahlo released never before seen art and memorabilia tied to the artist into the metaverse. The content debuted in a permanent exhibition during the third-annual Metaverse Art Week in Decentraland, held on Aug. 24–28.
Metaverse users are now able to experience the art, along with personal anecdotes told by close family members in a digital replica of the “Red House.” The house represents the real-life version of the Red House, owned by the family, which stands in Mexico City.
However, in the metaverse version of the Red House, each room represents little-known parts of the artist’s life before her infamous relationship with the Mexican painter Diego Rivera.
Luke McFarlane, the co-founder of Ezel, the company responsible for the archival materials, elaborated:
“The first 20 years will be represented in this house. It sets up a lot of her struggles and adversities, but also her drive and passion for life; between polio, coming of age and a major bus accident.”
A friend of the Kahlo family and Ezel co-founder, Pedro Quinzaños Cancino, told Cointelegraph in an interview that the family had reservations about releasing some personal information to the public.
“When I started talking to Mara [the great grand niece of Frida Kahlo], there was some resistance from the family.”
The effects of the global pandemic and private developments within the family prompted them to take a chance on the emerging technologies to tell stories that might otherwise soon disappear.
Cancino said he immediately saw an opportunity where blockchain could be useful.
“Blockchain is a perfect tool to really lock in the real story from the family and get it out there without having any type of changes from the media or third party.”
The founders of Ezel said they collected nearly 800 different pieces that belonged to Frida including sketches, original art, and other objects used in Kahlo’s day to day life. Each piece of content is scanned using high-resolution image capturing tools, which need at least 30 different images and videos
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Metaverse technology and interactive experiences provide the opportunity for new engagement with Frida’s art. According to Cancino, the real-life Red House is a private family residence. Aside from the metaverse version, they do not want it converted into a museum.
This is unlike the Blue House (Casa Azul), which saw over half a million visitors each year prior to the pandemic.
Quality of images and avatars in the digital universe is still an issue, as it has been for past events like Metaverse Fashion Week, which also took place in Decentraland.
However, the team at Ezel said that for now, storytelling and archiving is top priority so users can interact with culture and art in a “different, totally immersive way.”