Artist Damien Hirst burns thousands of his paintings worth up to £10m in stunt 


Damien Hirst’s work goes up in flames! UK’s wealthiest artist torches thousands of his paintings worth up to £10million in expensive NFT digital art stunt

  • Damien Hirst is burning thousands of pieces of his own artwork starting today 
  • The exhibition is at the Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, south London
  • He is sharing the stunt in an Instagram live stream this afternoon 

Artist Damien Hirst is burning thousands of his original paintings – collectively worth almost £10 million – as part of a digital art stunt. 

His exhibition, The Currency, is a collection of 10,000 NFTs (non-fungible tokens) which correspond with 10,000 original pieces of art by Hirst. 

The concept was to give collectors the choice to either keep the NFT or swap it for the physical artwork – if they did not exchange their NFT during a set period which ended on July 27, the physical piece of art would be destroyed.

Just over half of the collectors, 5149, decided to keep the artwork – while 4851 stuck with the NFT. 

Hirst began the process of burning the works at the Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, south London today – and will continue to torch his art until the exhibition ends on October 30. 

British artist Damien Hirst burning his art work at the Newport Street Gallery in south London

British artist Damien Hirst burning his art work at the Newport Street Gallery in south London

He is streaming the exhibition on an Instagram live this afternoon and told people to 'tune in'

He is streaming the exhibition on an Instagram live this afternoon and told people to ‘tune in’

Thousands of his pieces of art will be burned in the stunt which began today

Thousands of his pieces of art will be burned in the stunt which began today 

An assistant helping out with the process of burning the artwork today - the process will continue until the end of the month

An assistant helping out with the process of burning the artwork today – the process will continue until the end of the month

Hirst said: 'A lot of people think I’m burning millions of dollars of art but I’m not, I’m completing the transformation of these physical artworks into NFTs by burning the physical versions'

Hirst said: ‘A lot of people think I’m burning millions of dollars of art but I’m not, I’m completing the transformation of these physical artworks into NFTs by burning the physical versions’

Hirst wrote on Instagram yesterday: ‘Tomorrow I will be burning my 1,000 The Currency artworks which I kept as NFTs. 

‘A lot of people think I’m burning millions of dollars of art but I’m not, I’m completing the transformation of these physical artworks into nfts by burning the physical versions, the value of art digital or physical which is hard to define at the best of times will not be lost it will be transferred to the nft as soon as they are burnt and I will be live-streaming the full burn here on instagram. Tune in tomorrow at 12:30pm BST.’ 

Many fans followed the live stream virtually as there was limited capacity at the gallery. 

‘Was happy to sell my NFT in its absolute peak but can’t wait to see where the journey goes from here for currency! Incredible,’ one wrote. 

More follows.  



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