NFTs are often criticized for not being tangible collectibles, with many thinking that being digital-only makes these items feel worthless. Artist Damien Hirst may have changed things forever, burning away his physical art when his customers choose the NFT version.
Most people would prefer to have physical versions of art but given the digital age, NFTs have become more acceptable. Will Hirst start a movement that will lead to more art burning in the future? Or is he just trying to save space?
Damien Hirst Burns paintings, sells NFTs
Damien Hirt was asked by BBC how it felt to burn his art after selling NFT versions to his customers. To the surprise of many, or lack thereof, Hirst said that burning these paintings felt good and “better than expected.”
Naturally, this started some discourse on social media over the value of art and if burning them away was appropriate. Hirst doesn’t think of it like that, feeling that he isn’t burning away millions of dollars since he already sold them.
"A lot of people think I'm burning millions of dollars of art but I'm not," Hirst said. "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."
Critics blast Hirst
Damien Hirt’s actions have led to a number of people criticizing his actions, especially since NFTs seem to be dying out. Time Out’s Eddy Frankel calls Hirst out of touch, claiming that he’s joined edgy artists trying to keep their relevancy.
"It's almost like Damien Hirst is so out of touch with the real world that he's basically transcended to another plane of existence, populated only by oligarchs and the once-edgy artists they collect," wrote Frankel.