Currency, Damien Hirst’s NFT project, consists of 10,000 individual art pieces made up of colorful spots on an A4 sheet of paper. To avoid counterfeit, the artwork is signed, numbered, and features a hologram watermark similar to a banknote.
Hirst took an intriguing turn when he determined that owners would be able to keep the NFT or trade it in for the physical version; no one would be able to have both. Hirst stated,
“Yes, I’m forcing people to make a choice. But the purchaser always has a choice. It’s not just ‘Where’s the value?’ It’s also ‘Where’s the joy?”
Hirst disclosed in a Tweet on Wednesday evening that “the final numbers are 5,149 physical and 4,851 NFTs,” which means that 4,851 Damien Hirst signed physical art pieces would be burned and destroyed.
Hirst needed to make a judgment about his collection of 1,000 currency pieces. “At first, I thought I’d absolutely select all physical… Then I thought half-half, and then I felt I had to keep all 1,000 as NFTs,” he said of his transition into the NFT space.
He continued, seemingly upbeat about the future of NFTs and digital artwork,
“I believe in art and art in all its forms but in the end I thought fuck it! this zone is so fucking exciting and the one I know least about and I love this NFT community it blows my mind.”
The artist praised the NFT community, comparing it to the “bollox” he has witnessed over the years in the actual art world.
Hirst, who has dominated the UK art scene since the 1990s, has “learned so much” in the year he has been involved in this NFT project, with artwork selling for millions of dollars and exhibitions in the world’s best art galleries.
The reaction on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive, with collectors requesting that the burning be saved as an NFT and hailing it as “the most legitimate inventive merger of trade and crypto.”
Hirst hinted to future NFT projects, saying, “I feel the trip is just beginning.”