World renown British artist Damien Hirst is finalising his six-year phygital (physical and digital) art project ‘The Currency’ with the serial burning of thousands of his artworks.
‘The Currency’ project was born in 2016 and consists of 10,000 Hirst-drawn oil paintings. In 2021, and after the Web3 hype got underway, the artist-come-entrepreneur then linked a corresponding NFT to each of the works, costing $2000 apiece.
‘The Currency’ NFT holders then had the choice to keep their NFT or trade it in for its physical counterpart. Inevitably, one of the assets in this circumstance will be ‘burned.’ If they pick the former option, the physical piece will be set alight, while if they choose the latter, the NFT will be destroyed.
Roughly 4150 of ‘The Currency’ NFT holders have opted to swap their NFT for its physical counterpart, meaning the other 5850 NFTs will remain on the blockchain.
Given the extravagant nature of Hirst, he planned for the burning of the physical paintings to be a multi-week exhibition. Beginning on September 9th, those visiting Hirst’s private museum at Newport Street Gallery in London can view the to-be burned paintings before they are burned. Paintings will be burned daily, with all remaining images to be burned in mass at the exhibition’s closing event, which takes place in Frieze week in October.