As part of “The Currency” NFT project, Britain’s wealthiest living artist Damien Hirst burned $10 million worth of physical artworks. He set fire to his own “The Currency” artworks, ensuring they now only exist in the form of an NFT.
This was the first Damien Hirst NFT experiment in which he attempted to examine the value of physical art vs digital art. Under this one-year-long experiment, NFT holders had to decide to keep the NFT art or trade it in for a physical oil painting.
However, at the end of 365 days, out of 10,000 NFTs, 5,149 NFTs were traded for a piece of physical Damien Hirst artwork. Remaining 4,851, almost half of the holders decided to keep their NFTs.
During an Instagram live stream, Hirst burned many of the remaining unclaimed physical artworks at his London gallery. As the 4.851 NFT holders didn’t swap their physical pieces, this left almost 5,000 pieces of physical art that Hirst burned as part of the social experiment.
The remaining oil painting will continue to be burned until the Current exhibition closes on Sept. 30th. The event will take place at the Newport street gallery.
The Currency project has become widely popular and at one point, the NFTs were sold for over $12,000 each. Hirst commented on this experiment saying, “a lot of people think I’m burning millions of dollars of art but I’m not.” He added that, with this experiment, he is completing the transformation of these physical artworks into NFTs by burning the physical versions.
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