Damien Hirst set to burn thousands of his own paintings

·2 min read
British artist Damien Hirst poses during the press visit of an exhibition entitled 'Cherry Blossoms' dedicated to his work, on July 2, 2021 at the Fondation Cartier in Paris. (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP) (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Damien Hirst at an exhibition entitled Cherry Blossoms. (Getty Images)

Damien Hirst has said he is going to burn thousands of his own paintings as part of a project looking at art as currency.

Hirst, who has been one of Britain's best known artists since the 1990's, plans to destroy the works of art at his own London gallery.

In 2016, Hirst created 10,000 individual dot paintings that were later sold as non fungible tokens (NFTs) for $2,000 (£1,662) each.

The buyers were then told they could either keep the NFT or exchange it for a physical painting, but would not be able to have both.

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The split was roughly 50-50 with 4,180 people opting for a piece of physical art while the remaining 5,820 people chose to keep the NFT version.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 01:  Artist Damien Hirst attends the The Empathy Suite designed by Damien Hirst unveiling at Palms Casino Resort on March 01, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/WireImage)
Damien Hirst attends a Las Vegas suite he designed. (WireImage)

The physical artworks, which are oil on paper, are to be set on fire daily from 9 September.

Hirst previously talked about the project with Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England. He said: “It’s an installation, really, but like a global one … The involvement of everybody is part of The Currency project. It’s as much about the movement of the objects as it is about the objects.”

Hirst initially rose to fame in the early 1990's for displaying a shark submerged in formaldehyde, a piece that was later sold for $8m.

Some of his other most notable works include For the Love of God — a platinum cast of a human skull — and Verity, a statue on display in Devon.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:The Beheading of John the Baptist, 2006, goes on view as part of the Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst's Natural History exhibition. (Getty Images)

Hirst is also considered one of the most controversial living artists and has been accused of plagiarism 16 times and much of his work has received negative reviews.

Hist is also open about the fact he does little of the actual making of his art, instead hiring an ensemble of assistants to put together the pieces he conceptualises.

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