You really wouldn't want to destroy a sought-after Damien Hirst artwork. But for his debut NFT-based art collection 'The Currency', buyers must make a choice in choosing its unique NFT or its corresponding original work on paper. Only either medium will exist, not both.
The British contemporary artist, known to amalgamate themes of art, money, and death, enters the NFT realm with an art collection that challenges the concept of value through money and art.
How does 'The Currency' work?
I am releasing “The Currency” at 3pm tomorrow (14th July 2021) on https://t.co/rO9nG5DgFa. This is my global art work experiment. It comprises of 10,000 NFT’s, each corresponding to a unique physical artwork made in 2016. Each artwork is called a “Tender”. @PalmNft @HENIGroup pic.twitter.com/ky3PbzmjhQ
— Damien Hirst (@hirst_official) July 13, 2021
'The Currency' consist of 10,000 works on paper (created back in 2016) tied to corresponding NFTs. Furthermore, all 10,000 identically-sized unique artworks will feature Hirst's signature multicoloured dots akin to his painted all-over canvases from the 1980s. Each artwork is also uniquely named through machine learning based on a database of some of Hirst’s favourite song lyrics.
The machine learning algorithm also analysed each work and all of their different identifying features, ranking them out of 10,000. From the amount of drips and splashes to the texture of the paint, each artwork has a unique combination of ranked features. These spotted pieces are currently in a secured vault in the UK, according to a press release.
After successfully purchasing 'The Currency', buyers will have one year (until July 27, 2022) to decide whether they want to keep the NFT or exchange it for the physical equivalent. Depending on their decision, only one medium will survive.
In addition, the artwork will be individually numbered, signed, and stamped by the artist with a microdot and a hologram featuring a portrait of Hirst.
What is Palm?
Sold exclusively through HENI and Palm, a new token-powered ecosystem for NFTs, each artwork costs USD2,000. Besides Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), USD Coin (USDC), and Dai (DAI), they accept 'traditional payment' like credit and debit cards.
Now here's a little background on Palm. Palm NFT Studio is a joint venture brought together by ConsenSys founder and Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin; film producer and owner of Heyday Films, David Heyman; and founder of world-class art house HENI Group, Joe Hage. It will be led by co-founder and CEO Dan Heyman, currently General Manager of protocols at ConsenSys. This innovation lab will see collaborations with artists, marketplaces, and rights holders to bring projects and platforms into the Palm ecosystem. Benefits include low gas costs, fast transaction finality, and 99% more energy efficiency than proof of work systems.
“Palm is by far the best platform for me. It’s new and art-focused, it’s the most environmentally friendly, and it is quicker and cheaper to use. With Palm, artists can invent the future,” says Hirst.
At launch, Palm will exist as an Ethereum sidechain that is fully interoperable with the main Ethereum network.
Physical object vs non-fungible token
According to Hirst, 'The Currency' is more than just buying an artwork. It is a project that “challenges the concept of value through money and art” by inviting people to participate in the process of buying, holding, and selling artworks, and forcing them to confront “their perception of value, and how it influences their decision.”
While it may be more appealing to obtain the physical artwork and frame up the prized piece, its NFT counterpart does have positive qualities. Being Hirst's debut NFT collection, its value will be not be underestimated. Think of it as possessing a piece of history.
Similar physical dotted artworks by Hirst also do exist in the market currently that might not be readily authenticated. However, the digital NFT confirms its legitimacy through minting on the Palm blockchain which tracks the authenticity and movements of each NFT.