Damien Hirst and HENI collaborate to present an exhibition of paintings from his first NFT collection, The Currency, at Newport Street Gallery.
The Currency, launched in July 2021, is a collection of 10,000 NFTs which correspond with 10,000 original artworks by Damien Hirst. Collectors were given the choice to either keep the NFT or exchange it for the physical artwork. The exchange period closed on 27 July 2022 resulting in just over half the collectors, 5,149, deciding to keep the physical artwork, and 4,851 the NFT. If they did not exchange their NFT during that period, the physical artwork will be destroyed. Similarly, if they chose to exchange it in that period, the NFT was destroyed.
During Frieze Week, Damien Hirst will commence the burn by burning his own artworks. Following this event, the exhibition will remain open and artworks will continue to be burned until the show closes on 30 October 2022. Timings will be publicised in advance.
The Currency Chronicles, a publication outlining the community experiences of the first phase of the project, will be launched during the exhibition.
The physical artworks were created by hand in 2016 using enamel paint on handmade paper. Each artwork is numbered, titled, stamped, and signed by the artist on the back. Additional authenticity features on the artwork paper include a watermark, a microdot and a hologram containing a portrait of the artist. On each artwork, no colour is repeated twice. The titles were generated through the application of machine learning to some of the artist’s favourite song lyrics.
Damien Hirst views The Currency as a work of art in which people participate by buying, holding, selling, and exchanging the artworks.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)