A year-long project is pitting traditional paintings against non-fungible tokens. Which is more valuable—a painting, or an NFT?
Last summer, Damien Hirst paired thousands of unique dot paintings with corresponding NFTs, which he put up for sale for just $2,000 each. The catch? The owner would have to choose, by summer 2022, whether to keep the NFT or trade it in for the physical canvas copy. The version not selected would be destroyed.
Now, with 10,000 pieces sold, the results are in:
- A majority of buyers, 5,149, chose to keep their physical art
- while 4,851 opted for NFTs.
Hirst’s project, called “The Currency,” has reached its final phase: The real-life pieces that buyers rejected in favour of corresponding NFTs will be burned one by one this fall.
The experiment “explores the boundaries of art and currency—when art changes and becomes a currency, and when currency becomes art,” writes HENI, the art-tech company that ran the sales last summer, on its website.