This site promises a virtual afterlife for dead artists

Did your dear old nan believe she was the new Basquiat? POBA could help give her the exposure she never had

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Jean-Michel Basquiat attained even greater fame after his death – could your nan do it too? via rappersiq.com

Do you have a dearly departed loved one who was convinced they were the next Warhol or Basquiat? Hyperallergic reports that POBA, a new website that promotes the work of deceased artists, promises to bring posthumous glory. 

Describing itself as a "virtual cultural arts centre", POBA's stated mission is to "promote and preserve the creative work of exceptional artists who have died without recognition of the full measure of their talents or creative legacies".

To that end, it charges grieving relatives or estate managers $49.95 a year to upload and publicise images of their loved ones' art onto the site. Next step: a full retrospective at the Tate Modern. 

While POBA launched with the portfolios of a few impressive names like legendary American writer Norman Mailer and photographer George Tate, it currently only boasts 21 or so artists in its somewhat uneven repertoire of artwork. For instance, we can't see any gallerist seizing upon this clown drawing by 70s Badfinger guitarist Peter Ham. 

POBA takes its name from a Hindi phrase for the transformation of consciousness upon death (seriously) and bills itself as a nonprofit programme of a charity called the James Kirk Bernard Foundation – though we'd argue it doesn't seem all that charitable to sell virtual gallery space to bereaved families at almost $50 a pop. 

But of course, maybe that's not such a high price if sorting and uploading a loved one's artwork can help people deal with their loss – but maybe all of that could be done for free. Either way, it seems like this paid-for online portfolio is one way somebody's artistic ambitions could stretch indefinitely into the virtual afterlife

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