After 365 days, the Damien Hirst NFT experiment is over, and almost 50% of NFTs remain. The year-long project by one of the world’s most important contemporary artists has been hugely successful. The brilliance of the NFT collection, called ‘The Currency’, is that for each NFT, there is a corresponding physical copy. In total, there were 10,000 NFTs. At the end of the experiment, 5,149 NFTs were exchanged for physical art, and 4,851 NFTs now remain.
What is the Damien Hirst NFT experiment?
Damien Hirst – The Currency NFT project began last year on 27th July 2021. The idea behind the collection was to provide art whilst asking questions about web3 longevity and reimagine how we use NFTs.
The Currency contains 10,000 hand-painted, primary coloured paintings, with a random array of bright spots covering each piece of art. The inspiration for the collection comes from artwork the English artist Damien Hirst created in 2016.
Last year, during the NFT boom, Hirst began to think about how he could use NFTs in his creative process. Eventually, this became the Damien Hirst NFT experiment, known as The Currency. Initially costing $2,000 at the mint price, it sold out quickly and reached a peak of over $12,000 at one point this year.
NFT holders choose between physical and NFT artwork
The most exciting aspect of the Damien Hirst NFT experiment is the fact that it comes with a unique twist.
Owners of the Damien Hirst NFT have had a year to decide whether to keep the NFT or gain a physical piece of Damien Hirst’s art. Those who chose to keep their NFT would see their physical copy destroyed and vice versa for those selecting the art piece.
So, now the experiment is over, Damien Hirst is going to burn the remaining artworks. In the end, 5,149 NFTs were exchanged for the corresponding painting, meaning 4,851 NFTs remain. Now, the artist will burn the 4,851 physical versions.
Only 2,459 NFT holders had chosen the physical artwork a week ago, less than 25%. However, in the last week, more people have swapped their NFTs for a physical piece of Damien Hirst’s artwork.
Almost 50% chose to keep their NFT in the Damien Hirst experiment!
It is hard to comprehend the importance of Damien Hirst in the art world in the 20th and 21st centuries. His art is valuable now, and could continue to rise in value in the future. So although more people decided to swap their NFTs for a physical piece of art, this is still a massive victory for the NFT space.
Because of how valuable his name and artwork are, it is impressive that almost half the people have decided to keep their NFT. This shows the strength of the NFT art community and their belief in the future of NFTs.
What next for Damien Hirst in the NFT space?
In a lengthy Twitter thread about the project, Damien Hirst summarised his thoughts on his project. He said, “I have no idea what the future holds, whether the NFTs or physicals will be more valuable or less. But that is art! the fun, part of the journey and maybe the point of the whole project. Even after one year, I feel the journey is just beginning.”
Finally, after a year, the NFT experiment is over, and the NFT space looks forward to what Damien Hirst does next. Hopefully, he can provide us with another great NFT project.