NFTs could survive physical art galleries, famous British artist Damien Hirst says
Renowned contemporary artist Damien Hirst told CNBC on Wednesday that he believes in the sustainability of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, the blockchain-based digital collectibles that have soared in popularity and then plummeted this year.
“You look at what’s going on in the NFTs, and you can kind of see the galleries disappear before you see the NFTs disappear,” Hirst said on “Squawk Box,” where the British artist has appeared to discuss his collection. NFT called “Currency.”
This project includes 10,000 NFTs, each corresponding to its own distinct physical artwork. NFTs cost $ 2,000 each. But the twist: Their eventual owners have a year to choose between keeping the NFT or trading it in for its physical creation. The one that the owners do not choose will be destroyed.
“They are both art, and they are both equal. I had to buy into that first, and I have to buy into the idea that I am happy to destroy physical art and destroy them. NFT, ”Hirst said. “I have absolutely no idea what people are going to do.”
Requests to buy one of Hirst’s NFTs were closed on Wednesday after they opened a week ago.
The NFT craze took off earlier this year, coinciding with the growing interest and growing value of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether; Both NFTs and cryptocurrencies are based on blockchains, which are decentralized digital ledgers. High-class auction houses Christie’s and later Sotheby’s jumped into the NFT action. In March, digital artist Beeple sold an NFT for $ 69 million at a Christie’s auction.
NFTs are unique in design, and proponents say the scarcity supports their long-term value. However, just as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have had a rough time this year, the amount of money spent on NFTs suffered a noticeable drop in May and June. according to weekly sales data from the nonfungible.com website. The total money spent on NFTs has started to rise again in recent weeks.
Critics of NFTs say they are just a fad, destined to lose value over time. Believers in cryptocurrencies and blockchains widely herald NFTs as a crucial innovation that can prove asset ownership in an increasingly digital world.
Hirst, a figurehead of the Young British Artists phase who started in the late 1980s, said he saw tension between people in the physical and digital art worlds. At the same time, Hirst tried to blur the line in some way.
“I think digital art is probably going to last a lot longer than galleries. I mean, you probably won’t go into galleries. We’ll be sitting in bars showing us what we recently bought on our phones. , and that’s kind of what we’re doing now. I just think anything that looks good and feels good, and makes you feel good, you know, is good art. does not need to be in a gallery. ”
Skeptics have also criticized that ownership of an NFT-based artwork does not prevent others from being able to easily view the image online. Since copies of the artwork can appear in various digital locations, some wonder what the value proposition of the NFT property really is.
Responding to this review, Hirst said, “It’s not new that artists want to replicate things.”
“I have often thought of it as the Mona Lisa. Which one would I prefer to own? The Mona Lisa herself, with all the difficulties looking at her because of the tourists and the bulletproof glass, or the merchandising possibilities. -shirts, postcards, earrings and mugs, ”Hirst said.
“It’s like I like both. Art exists, in the world we live in today, in both of these areas. As an artist, I want to touch people, and I think the postcard is really eye-catching. So NFTs create that for an artist. I guess the worst thing for an artist is to be ignored or disappear without a trace, “he said.