Damien Hirst’s "Spot Paintings" remain one of the most recognizable motifs in contemporary art, known for their perfect circles in a grid format. Since its first iteration in 1986, the series has seen many variations, but it wasn’t until 2016 that Hirst dispensed the rules for his "Colour Space" paintings, and allowed the work to become more organic. The works of The Currency evolved from this exploration, with the spots appearing like particles or atoms. It marries one of Hirst’s most generative bodies of work to his lifelong fascination for technology and materiality. Ever disrupting art world conventions, the artist's use of NFTs is an important development in his ongoing interest in notions of ownership and collecting. "The Currency" challenges the concept of value through money and art. Each of the unique 10,000 hand painted works were launched in July 2021 as NFTs on the blockchain. There is a possibility to exchange the physical work and burn its NFT correspondent until July 2022. By the end of February 2022, only 600 physical works (6 %) have been redeemed and the rest of the editions remain as NFTs. Each artwork is uniquely titled and numbered (1-10,000). The titles are generated from machine learning applied to some of the artist's favourite song lyrics. Although created in 2016, "6235. I don’t have my future" resonates more than ever with viewers in 2022. Following the life uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic or perhaps more generally reflecting on moments of doubts and feelings of helplessness, this title provides another level of complexity and depth to this unique artwork.
“The Currency is an artwork, and anyone who buys it will participate in this work, it’s not just about owning it… The whole project is an experience in belief… It is the most exciting project I have ever worked on by far.„