By the summer of 1993, Jesse Frohman was a part of the NYC photography scene, having shot luminaries such as Run DMC, James Brown, and Spike Lee. Jesse’s next assignment found him pointing a lens towards the stratosphere: Kurt Cobain, frontman of Nirvana, the biggest rock star in the world, and reluctant anti-hero for a generation. On that particular afternoon, Cobain was also hours late, holed up in his hotel room. Every passing minute was a blow to Jesse’s ambitions for the shoot.
Four hours later, what was to be a sprawling Central Park photoshoot had dwindled in scope to stealing 30 minutes in a drab hotel conference room with his two assistants and a Pentax 6x7 camera. When Kurt finally emerged from his hotel room, it was in a shroud of residual catatonia. He broke the silence by asking for a bucket — just in case. There was no time for small talk. There was no need. The photos speak for themselves.
Even casual Nirvana fans instinctively recognize the tattered leopard print coat or the pair of white Jackie O sunglasses Kurt wore that day, the faded nail polish, a dying cigarette. But Frohman was drawn to the uneasy balance Kurt wore within his being: playful and unguarded at moments, feigning ballet moves and spraying water out of his mouth, while at others nihilistic and self-destructive — always flitting between absence and presence.
Jesse left the shoot that day thinking he’d gotten one or two good shots. He was struck to find over a hundred, each imbued with a nuance unlike the others. Meanwhile, Nirvana hurtled towards crescendo with the release of the seminal In Utero two months later. Within another six months, Kurt Cobain would take his own life. His music, his life, and his death still loom large to this day.
Over the past 27 years, The Last Session images have grown into the memorial artefact of Kurt Cobain, an intimate moment with one of the last great rock stars, a hero to the disaffected, and an enigma that will never be fully understood.
And while Jesse Frohman’s work features in permanent collections at MoMA and the National Portrait Gallery, The Last Session has proven to be his definitive work. The Last Session NFT collection includes images, polaroids, and contact sheets with Frohman’s original markups, some of which have never before been seen. The landmark NFT release offers those who celebrate Kurt's legacy a chance to share ownership of a moment that is etched deeply upon the soul of music and culture.
Frohman’s paramount collection of images, contact sheets, and polaroids from The Last Session photoshoot in July 1993, including some never-before-seen. A set of 104 images sold as a single bundle to commemorate the legend’s iconic status. The winning bidder will take ownership of more than a collection of art. They will become a custodian of an enduring moment in music and culture.
In addition to the 104 iconic images, contact sheets, and polaroids, the auction winner will receive one print of their choosing from the collection and the opportunity for their own photoshoot with Jesse Frohman.
Edition of 1
10 unique quadriptychs of iconic Kurt Cobain images from The Last Session photoshoot.
10 NFTs, editions of 1
20 unique images from The Last Session photoshoot, each sold as an edition of 5 NFTs.
20 NFTs, editions of 5
A portion of the proceeds from the Kurt Cobain x Jesse Frohman NFT sale will be donated by Frohman to the Jed Foundation. The Jed Foundation (JED) is a non-profit organization that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults in the United States. Learn more at the Jed Foundation site.
The Jesse Frohman x Kurt Cobain sale will last from May 3, 2021 at 12:00pm ET to May 7, 2021 at 6:00pm ET. The “Last Session” Complete Collection and “Nevermind” edition will be an ongoing auction until the sale end date. “In Utero” editions are first-come, first-serve while the sale lasts or until editions are sold out.
Participants must have a funded crypto wallet in order to participate in the sale, and can buy or bid in WETH.
To place a bid for “Last Session” Complete Collection or “Nevermind” editions, participants will need to have wallets already funded with ETH or WETH (bids must be placed in WETH, but a Uniswap in-app widget is available for easy conversion from ETH to WETH). When an auction participant submits a bid, they will send their latest bid amount to the auction smart contract. If they are outbid, they will be able to submit more WETH to the auction contract to up their bid. Should they eventually lose the auction, they are able to keep their bid active for subsequent owners, or they can withdraw to reclaim their funds. The auction winner of “Last Session” Complete Collection will receive a single NFT, which will contain all of the collection images. For more details regarding the the mechanics of the auction, see here: https://zora.engineering/auction.
“In Utero” editions are first-come, first-serve sale items. To purchase, collectors must have enough ETH or WETH in their wallets. Remember to consider gas costs when funding your wallet.
Wallet: We recommend using MetaMask or WalletConnect for your crypto wallet.
Funds: The Kurt Cobain x Jesse Frohman NFT sale accepts WETH as a form of payment. Collectors can convert ETH into WETH during the bidding/buying process. To participate in the sale or the auction, collectors must have pre-funded wallets. Collectors should keep in mind that additional ETH will be needed for gas costs.