Medium: Enamel paint on handmade paper with watermark, microdot and hologram, signed on verso by the artist
Edition: Original (#4314)
Size: 20.0cm x 30.0cm
Good To Know: Stored in humidity controlled art storage facility, condition report available upon request
Series: The Currency Project
Arty-Fact: “The Currency” is a body of work consisting of 10,000 NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) that correspond to 10,000 unique works on paper created in 2016. The spot-colored works hearken back to Hirst’s painted all-over canvases that began in the 1980s and are being held in a secure vault somewhere in the United Kingdom.
Each title of the spotty works was created through machine learning based on a database of some of Hirst’s favourite song lyrics. The works may look similar, but no two dots are the same colour, while each piece is individually numbered, signed, and stamped by the artist with a microdot and a hologram featuring a portrait of the artist.
While many artists are giving buyers a physical object along with their digital token, Hirst’s scheme involves a choice. The collector can either keep the NFT or exchange it for one of the works on paper, and they have one year to make their decision. If the collector chooses the NFT, the corresponding work in paper is destroyed; and vice versa.
According to Hirst, “The Currency” project is more than just an opportunity for buying works, it is a project that in itself “challenges the concept of value through money and art” by inviting people to participate in the process of buying, holding, and selling artworks, and forcing them to confront “their perception of value, and how it influences their decision.”
Thus, an old-school luddite who just wants to dip a toe in the NFT-pool could promptly exchange the token for a physical work, while a crypto-fanatic is essentially declaring the value of a physical object less than that of a non-fungible token. The Currency tests the boundaries of the digital and physical world and our role in both.
Source: “Damien Hirst’s New NFT Project Forces Buyers to Choose Between Owning a Digital Token or a Work on Paper” by Caroline Goldstein, ArtNet News, July 2021
In Conversation with Damien Hirst - The Currency