A kind of manifesto was made by the English artist Damien Hirst, who burned more than 1,000 physical works from his catalog at the Newport Street Gallery in London, to replace them with 10,000 pieces in NFT.
Each non-expendable token corresponds to a physical painting with its characteristic multicolored dots, made of enamel paint on handmade paper. Parts were initially available for $2,000.
“A lot of people think I’m burning millions of dollars worth of art but I’m not, I’m completing the transformation of these physical works of art into nfts by burning the physical versions,” Hirst wrote in an Instagram caption. “the value of digital or physical art, which is difficult to define at best, will not be lost, it will be transferred to the nft as soon as they are burned.”
A year after purchasing a piece from “The Currency”, collectors had to make a decision. They could take the paint, meaning they would lose the NFT, or hold on to the NFT, meaning the paint would burn.
Buyers were almost evenly split in their decisions, with 5,149 opting to trade their NFT for the original paint and 4,851 choosing the NFT. The pieces are on display at London’s Newport Street Gallery and will be burned during the Frieze London art fair, which runs from October 12-16.
Many comments on Hirst’s Instagram post about the burning were critical. “Either way, it’s all about the money,” one user wrote. “Interesting strategy of maximizing the carbon footprint for this collection,” wrote another.