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Damien Hirst's first NFT collection can be traded for physical works

Another artist is making new waves in the NFT scene.

Earlier this week, Damien Hirst announced that he will be releasing a series of artworks as NFTs. Working with the platform HENI, the artist will be releasing 10,000 unique artwork he’s created since 2016 as Hirst’s first-ever NFT collection. While this is not the first time the British artist has dabbled in NFT, this will be the first that is entirely based on NFTs.

Each of the 10,000 artworks of previously unseen works consists of colorful dots that Hirst became known for. This collection is dubbed “The Currency” and along with the arrays of dots, each work is individually titled by Hirst. The art collection is technological in more ways than one. In addition to its NFT status, the collection is run through a machine learning algorithm that can identify just how unique a particular piece is compared to the others in the collection. Some of the characteristics that are analyzed include overlaps of the dots, density, and even the title of individual pieces. An example given by Heni is that only 122 artworks contain profanity in the title, making it ‘rarer’ than others.

Those interested can register to apply for the chance to buy one of Hirst's NFTs. Applications will be closed on 3pm BST on July 21, 2021. After this time, the NFTs will be allocated from July 21-28, 2021.

But this is not a Damien Hirst work if there weren’t a bit of a twist to it.

While initially the artwork is only sold in NFT form, owners of the NFTs can choose to trade in their NFTs for a physical version of the artwork. Two months after the NFTs are allocated to a year after its release, owners can trade in their NFTs for Damien Hirst’s personally signed, 20x30 cm piece of paper. Upon trading, the NFT will be destroyed.

“The Currency” is not just an attempt to cash in on a current trend. It’s also an interesting experiment in what people value more, the art itself or the idea of owning the art. Is art just another form of currency (as Hirst calls them) or is it something more? We will see in a year from now.


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