Final yr, Hirst issued NFTs for 10,000 of his signature “spot” work. Credit score: Courtesy Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
On the time of publication, and with lower than a day left to resolve, 4,751 folks had swapped their NFT for a bodily work, with 5,249 consumers set to retain their NFTs.
Describing the undertaking as his “most enjoyable by far,” Hirst advised The Artwork Newspaper in March that it “touches on the thought of artwork as a foreign money and a retailer of wealth.” He added: “This undertaking explores the boundaries of artwork and foreign money — when artwork modifications and turns into a foreign money, and when foreign money turns into artwork. It isn’t a coincidence that governments use artwork on cash and notes. They do that to assist us imagine in cash. With out artwork, it is onerous for us to imagine in something.”
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After all, Hirst has been utilizing the market as his medium for many years. In 2007, he made “For the Love of God,” a sculpture consisting of a platinum solid of an 18th-century human cranium encrusted with 8,601 diamonds. In a transfer that predated the present development for tokenizing artwork, the work was bought in August 2007 (for £50 million, then round $100 million, Hirst reportedly claimed) to a consortium that included the artist himself.
In 2008, through the week Lehman Brothers crashed and the worldwide financial system went into meltdown, Hirst bought 218 works immediately from his studio through Sotheby’s public sale home for £111 million (then over $200 million). Not solely was the occasion unprecedented in its scale and ambition, it additionally lower out the gallery intermediary — and in the end flooded Hirst’s market, which has by no means actually recovered.
Hirst has described the tasks as his “most enjoyable by far.” Credit score: Courtesy Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
As for “The Foreign money,” the NFT market that dealt with the preliminary sale, Heni, has been producing a month-to-month report analyzing the shopping for and promoting of Hirst’s NFTs on the secondary market, which has sharply dropped in worth because the undertaking started and as cryptocurrencies have plummeted. The primary report notes how, between July 30 and August 31, 2021, there have been 2,036 gross sales of “The Foreign money” totaling $47.9 million. In the meantime, in June this yr, simply 170 gross sales occurred, bringing in a complete of $1.4 million.
The resale of bodily works seems to be faring higher. In January, one of many unique work bought at Phillips public sale home in London for £18,900 ($23,000).