Physical Art Narrowly Wins Over NFTs in Damien Hirst’s Experiment
With the deadline for UK art superstar Damien Hirst’s The Currency NFT burn expired today, artwork owners were forced to answer a paramount question: do they wish to burn their NFT in exchange for the artist’s corresponding original work on paper, or keep the token? As it turns out, slightly more owners opted to drop digital art and receive it in a physical form.
As the countdown ended, a total of 5,149 NFTs had been burned, or close to 51.5% of the total, and their owners were awarded physical artworks in exchange, according to the project’s official website.
“The collector has to decide between the digital NFT or the physical artwork, but can not keep both. This exchange is a one-way process, so choose carefully,” according to the site.
As a result, a total of 4,851 NFTs are remaining, and the same number of corresponding physical pieces will be destroyed, as declared by the artist. Before this happens, however, Hirst says he will organize an exhibition of the paper artworks at Newport Street Gallery in London, opening on September 9, 2022.
“This has been one of the most interesting projects in the NFT/Art world. Damien Hirst gave people the choice to keep the NFT (and destroy the physical) or vice versa. It’s game theory, future & history of art, psychology, investing, community all rolled into one,” commented Raoul Pal, CEO of on-demand financial TV channel Real Vision.
As of now, the cheapest item in the NFT collection costs ETH 5.75 (USD 8.565), per OpenSea data.
The British artist kicked off his unique experiment last July by creating a collection of 10,000 art pieces priced at USD 2,000 each. He gave owners one year to make their decision.
“This project explores the boundaries of art and currency—when art changes and becomes a currency, and when currency becomes art. It’s not a coincidence that governments use art on coins and notes. They do this to help us believe in money. Without art, it’s hard for us to believe in anything,” Hirst told industry publication The Art Newspaper.
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