Damien Hirst is a British sculptor, painter, conceptual artist and curator of individual exhibitions. He is the best-known representative of the group Young British Artists.
Hirst is best known for his provocative sculptures that deal with themes of death, religion, life or consumer culture. His most famous works include a platinum cast of a human skull set with diamonds, entitled For the Love of God, and several animal bodies inlaid in formaldehyde.
In 2022, artist Damien Hirst burned around 5000 works on paper in his London gallery. The event was the conclusion of his NFT project “The Currency”.
At London’s Newport Street Gallery, Damien Hirst threw a total of 4851 of his paintings on paper into waiting fireplaces. This marked the conclusion of his project “The Currency,” for which he had created 10,000 physical works and 10,000 corresponding NFT tokens. These are digital works that have a certificate of authenticity via blockchain technology. Collectors had to decide within a year whether to keep the digital or paper version of their Hirst purchase. The other was to be destroyed.
Slightly less than half of his customers had opted for the virtual version of his works, so 4851 sheets were burned. 5149 kept their hands-on version, with the associated NFTs destroyed.
“It’s kind of crazy to burn art,” Damien Hirst told members of the press present in the gallery. “But I think it’s more of a transformation because it makes the physical artwork the NFT.”
For the first time in Germany, some of Damien Hirst’s most iconic works will be on display at the privately run MUCA (Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art) in the fall of 2023. On October 26, the exhibition titled “The Weight of Things” will begin with more than 40 works.
MUCA, “The Weight of Things”, München, Deutschland
The Currency, Newport Street Gallery London September 23rd to October 30th, 2022
Forgiving and Forgetting
July 6 – October 23, 2021
Gagosian Rome, Italy
Cathedrals Built on Sand
June 8 – September 22, 2021
Gagosian Paris, France
Relics and Fly Paintings
From June 5, 2021
Gagosian London, UK