10 unique quadriptychs of iconic Kurt Cobain images from The Last Session photoshoot.
10 NFTs, editions of 1
May 14, 2021 06:00pm ET
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.