The world of art is experiencing a new era with the introduction of blockchain and NFT technology. By now, lots of artists, musicians, gamers, and designers have joined the NFT world to get a share of the advantages it provides through its smart contracts. Meanwhile, artists seem to have a great share of the market. NFT markets are loaded with artworks of amateur and well-known artists coming up to present their art as non-fungible tokens to the world. Among the successful artist in the world of NFT is Damien Hirst who has presented several profitable NFT collections. Here, we aim to review Hirst’s NFT art and the influence of his art on the non-fungible market.
Who is Damien Hirst?
Damien Hirst is an artist, entrepreneur, and art collector from England. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths college and since then Hirst has created installations, sculptures, paintings, and drawings that seek to represent the complex relationships between art, beauty, religion, science, life, and death. He became known as the successful Young British Artists (YBAS) in the 1990s and the richest living British artist at the time. His most famous art piece is The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), an iconic shark in formaldehyde, and For the Love of God (2007).
Some of his most famous painting collections include spin paintings and spot paintings. In 2008, he held an auction to sell his complete show Beautiful Inside My Heart forever and raised $198 million. He broke the record for a one-artist auction. He previously recorded the auction for Golden Calf for about $11.5 million.
How did Hirst join NFT market?
Later in late 2020, he sold his Japanese Cherry Blossoms collection online which raised about $22.4 Million. In July 2021, Hirst introduced his NFT art collection The Currency on Plam blockchain, a new, more environmentally friendly NFT ecosystem. As the first NFT project by Hirst, The Currency included 10,000 hand drawn art pieces and each one correlated with a digital edition. Questioning the new trend of producing art, Hirst asked if collectors preserve the traditional art or burn it down in favor of digital art.
While most artists give buyers a physical object along with its digital token, he provided a scheme of choice for his customers. Hirst confronted his collectors with two choices, either hold on to their NFT or exchange it for a physical edition. Accordingly, he created the exchange window to allow collectors of his NFT collection to make a choice. If collectors chose not to exchange their NFT within the exchange window, the corresponding physical artwork, which was kept in a vault in London, would be burned. On the other hand, choosing the physical painting led to the destruction of their NFT. Collectors are required to make their choice by July 27, 2022.
Hirst argues that The Currency is not just an opportunity to buy NFT art works, rather it is provided to challenge the concept of value through money and art. To do so, he makes collectors to make a choice and see the influence of digital market on their decision.
Each NFT in The Currency collection priced $2,000 which could be paid with almost all digital currencies or credit or debit cards. Hirst set a rather low price on his collection to make it possible for all enthusiast get their chance on getting their favorite digital piece.
Later in January 2022, Hirst released his new NFT collection The Empresses, a series of kaleidoscopic, deep red prints containing butterflies. These five prints were made available in the same way as The Currency so that the buyer was offered the choice to keep the physical or NFT work. The collection was published by HENI Editions. The exchange window for The Empresses will be available for collectors from May 5. 2022 to February 5, 2025.
What is the market value for “The Currency”?
As we already mentioned, Damien Hirst provided his first NFT collection The Currency with 10,000 NFTs. Each NFT costed $2,000 at the opening. During the opening period, 32,472 collectors applied for the collection.
The secondary market for The Currency has been open since July 29, 2021. At the very first day of the trades on the secondary market, $1.3 million trading volume was recorded. The amount increased to $395,173 per day with average price of $8.379.
The total sale on the secondary market has reached over $21 million today and it seems to follow its sharp increase shortly. The price floor for NFT items in The Currency collection is about 50 thousand dollars now and the market value of the project is approximately over $500 million.
What is “The Currency” Exchange Window?
The exchange window is a period that allows owners of digital assets to decide their properties. In the case of the Currency holders, owners can change their NFT for a Damien Hirst painting by burning their Currency NFT, which, as the result, leads to the erase of it from their wallet. The Exchange Window is officially open from October 15, 2021, and The Currency collectors are required to exchange their NFT for the physical artwork using the exchange process on HENI’s official website or choose to keep their NFTs. The exchange period extends to July 27th, 2022. After the date, according to the choice of the collectors, the physical artworks left after this date will be burned.
What is HENI and how does it help “The Currency” collectors?
HENI is an international art services business that cooperates with leading artists and estates across printmaking, marketplaces for physical artworks, NFTs, publishing, digital, film production, art research, and analysis. HENI makes use of the latest and best technologies to facilitate art trading.
The holders of The Currency can exchange their NFTs for the physical edition from MY NFTS section on the HENI official website.
A final word
It is believed that Hirst will continue to produce NFT works as long as the artwork market continues to move towards digital art collecting. Therefore, it would be wise to keep an eye on the Hirst collection if you, in any chance, wish to invest in the NFT market.