Madonna has been turning heads for nearly 40 years and is no stranger to marrying sexuality, entertainment, and business. Beeple, the nom de plume of artist Mike Winkelmann, is the person who singlehandedly brought NFTs to the attention of the general public with his $69 million sale last November. So a collaboration between the two might make a lot of sense on paper.
The reality, however, is a lot different.
The online world, and especially the crypto community, is lambasting Madonna upon the release of her and Beeple’s new collection of sexually graphic NFTs, which include explicit footage of the singer giving birth to trees, butterflies, and robotic centipedes. The video clips include close-up shots of the singer’s genitalia created using scans of Madonna’s body.
“I wanted to investigate the concept of creation, not only the way a child enters the world through a woman’s vagina, but also the way an artist gives birth to creativity,” said Madonna in a statement. “Most importantly, we wanted to use this opportunity to benefit mothers and children who are most in need right now.”
Funds from the NFT sales will go to three nonprofits—the Voices of Children Foundation, The City of Joy, and Black Mama’s Bail Out. As of 11:00 a.m. ET, two of the NFTs had bids of $12,757, while the other was fetching $29,440. The auction will end beginning Friday at 6:00 p.m. ET.
The causes are good ones, but that’s not stopping social media from piling on. On crypto Twitter, the graphic nature of the images and some of the misogynist language used prevents Fortune from publishing or linking to them.
Madonna, in a video conversation with Beeple posted to her Instagram feed (note: link contains explicit content) defended the NFTs, saying, “[We] give birth to an urban, burned-out, post-apocalyptic masterpiece!”
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