• Damien Hirst’s Drake Album Art Has Been Turned Into 10,000 Ethereum NFTs

  • Hirst turned his “Certified Lover Boy” cover into a series of 10,000 free NFTs for collectors who own pieces from his previous collection.

    Despite being divisive, the cover art for Drake’s latest album “Certified Lover Boy” stands out from his contemporaries, featuring a grid of the iOS pregnant woman emoji in 12 different skin tones. Damien Hirst, the famed English provocateur behind the cover, has now turned it into a series of NFTs.

    However, there will be no minting or public sale of the 10,000 Ethereum NFT collectibles, dubbed Great Expectations by Hirst. Instead, the NFTs were distributed free of charge to owners of Hirst’s previous NFT collection, The Currency, which debuted in July.

    “Everything done well is art,” Hirst wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “I’ve created this free Thanksgiving gift for all Currency NFT holders with Drake’s support and blessing; it’s loosely based on the album cover I designed for Drake.”

    The 10,000 pieces all have the same basic grid of 12 cartoonish depictions of pregnant women. However, Hirst’s new twist changes the art style, and each woman differs in terms of color palette, background, hair, and accessories such as handbags and party hats. Some of the women even have skulls for heads instead of faces.

    Hirst described the making of Great Expectations in a series of tweets. “Like all great art, it appears simple,” he writes, adding that he “wanted it to be pop, high, and low art” and that it had to “be ironic while remaining iconic.”

    According to listings on the leading NFT marketplace OpenSea, hundreds of Great Expectations holders are already attempting to sell their free NFTs. The cheapest NFT in the set is currently listed for more than 1.1 ETH, or about $4,500.

    An NFT, or non-fungible token, serves as a deed of ownership to a digital item, allowing for provable scarcity for items such as digital illustrations, profile pictures, video files, and more. According to DappRadar data, the NFT market has ballooned over the course of 2021, with $10.67 billion in trading volume in Q3. Ethereum is the most popular platform for NFT collectibles.

    Hirst, one of the most successful living contemporary artists, launched The Currency in July, transforming 10,000 physical spot paintings into NFTs. Buyers could keep the NFT version or burn (destroy) it in exchange for the physical version for $2,000 each. Any physical paintings that have not been redeemed by July 27, 2022 will be destroyed.

    Hirst received 67,023 purchase requests for the 10,000 NFTs in total, and the initial sale generated $20 million in revenue. So far, secondary sales of The Currency NFTs have generated $61.7 million in ETH trading volume on OpenSea.

    What's your reaction?