Damien Hirst to burn thousands of his paintings in the name of art

Damien Hirst - Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd
Damien Hirst – Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Damien Hirst will burn thousands of his artworks on Tuesday after owners refused to exchange their paintings for a non-fungible token (NFT).

The British artist and art collector created 10,000 unique dot paintings in 2016 which corresponded with a collection of 10,000 NFTs, a unique digital token that can be traded online.

In “The Currency”, Hirst’s first NFT collection, he gave his buyers the choice to exchange their NFT version – worth £2,000 – for the physical artwork.

After the exchange period closed in July it was revealed that just over half the collectors chose to exchange for the real artwork, created by enamel paint on handmade paper, while 4,851 decided to keep the NFT version.

Hirst, reportedly the UK’s wealthiest living artist, pledged to destroy all the original artworks that people decided not to exchange their virtual token for.

As a result, he will torch thousands of paintings – collectively worth almost £10 million – starting on Tuesday afternoon at the Newport Street Gallery in London.

On the gallery’s website, it says that Hirst “views ‘The Currency’ as a work of art in which people participate by buying, holding, selling, and exchanging the artworks”.

The event will be staged during Frieze London, an international art event in the capital.

In a post on his Instagram account on Monday, Hirst said: “Tomorrow I will be burning 1,000 of The Currency artworks which I kept as NFTs.

“A lot of people think I’m burning millions of dollars of art but I’m not, I’m completing the transformation of these physical artworks into NFTs by burning the physical versions.”

Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst

He added: “The value of art, digital or physical, which is hard to define at the best of times, will not be lost. It will be transferred to the NFT as soon as they are burnt.”

While it will not be the first time that artwork has been burned, it marks a turning point for the 57-year-old artist into the world of digital art.

Last month, the cryptocurrency entrepreneur Martin Mobarak claimed to have burned a $10 million Frida Kahlo drawing in order to “permanently transition it into the Metaverse”.

Following the event on Tuesday, the exhibition will remain open and artworks will continue to be burned until the show closes on October 30.

Published by anthonyhayble

I AM A PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER WHO BLOGS ON EVENTS, NEWS AND CELEBRITY ACTIVITIES. YOU WILL GET THE LATEST BLOGGING UPDATES WITH UP TO DATE NEWS AND EVENTS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU. COMMENTS AND LIKES ARE ALSO WELCOMED. I AM STILL IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING AND UPDATING MY BLOGS AND IT WOULD BE UP AND RUNNING SHORTLY. THIS IS STILL A NEW SITE AND WILL GREATLY IMPROVE WITH TIME

%d bloggers like this: