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Hirst with a stack of unique artworks from his project, The Currency. Source: Heni

Damien Hirst: "4193. Mouths are planted" ("The Currency"), 2016-2021

“In the very beginning of my Spot Painting career I made some messy spots and I hated them, so I perfected them into perfect dots and for 25 years, I made perfect dots. At the very end, I went back to the messy dots and made two or three. I really like them! (...) They are not a print but they look like a print.„

— Damien Hirst

Weng Contemporary is delighted to present 4193. Mouths are planted  from The Currency, the first NFT series by Damien Hirst. 

Damien Hirst’s Spot Paintings remain one of the most recognizable motifs in contemporary art, known for their perfect circles in a grid format. The works of The Currency evolved from this exploration, with the spots appearing like particles or atoms. The Currency marries one of Hirst’s most generative bodies of work to his lifelong fascination for technology and materiality.

 

4193. Mouths are planted (The Currency), 2016-2021

 

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 beginning of April 2022, only 750 physical works (7.5%) have been redeemed and the rest of the editions remain as NFTs.

Damien Hirst. "4193. Mouths are planted", 2016-2021
Hologram on paper. ®Damien Hirst

Same as other currencies, but different

Similar to other forms of currency, anti-counterfeiting measures are employed to ensure authenticity. Each work of The Currency has several measures that safeguard the authenticity, both of the physical artwork and the digital NFT. The paper is hand made and is cut manually, producing spontaneous imperfections and asymmetries. Each unique artwork is numbered, titled, stamped with the Hirst logo and signed by the artist on the back. Additional authenticity features include a watermark of Damien Hirst’s head taken from his sculpture called The Collector where the artists poses as Henry VIII, a microdot and a hologram containing a portrait of the artist.

 

Rarities

Using a machine learning algorithm, all of the different identifying features of each work have been analysed and ranked out of 10,000. These features, also known as “rarities” are defined by overlaps, drips, texture, density, weight, colours, word and characters. From the amount of drips and splashes, to the texture of the paint, each artwork has a unique combination of ranked features. 4193. Mouths are planted has a weight score (amount of grams) of 19.23  ranking it 5,863 out of 10,000 and a density score of 0.50 (out of 1) ranking it at 5,363. This means that 5,862 artworks of The Currency are lighter and 4137 are heavier. Similarly, 4,637 artworks in the series have more density. The thickness and texture of the paint, the amount of spots and their vicinity to each other impact the uniqueness of each artwork. 4193. Mouths are planted offers a uniform overall rarity score making this piece an expectational illustration of The Currency project.

Stacks of unique artworks that could be yours … or that you could have a hand in destroying. Source: Heni

“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.„

— Damien Hirst

10,000 Unique Artworks

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. Influenced by the Catholic symbolism of his upbringing, Damien Hirst’s oeuvre explores the relationship between science, faith and art as systems of belief. 4193. Mouths are planted particularly resonates with The Book of Jeremiah, 12:2 “You plant them, and they take root; they grow and bear fruit. ‘You are near to us,’ they say with their mouths,” providing  another level of complexity and depth to this unique artwork.

 

 

 

 

For purchase inquiries, please contact:

Giorgia Zardetto, Managing Director
(giorgia@wengcontemporary.com)


Laura Marinoni, Sales & Operations
(laura@wengcontemporary.com)


Arianna Perini, Sales & Operations
(arianna@wengcontemporary.com)