NFT fever has infected Damien Hirst

February 25, 2021. Damien Hirst announces on his Instagram profile that he has created the series The Virtues, in collaboration with the HENI Leviathan platform: eight cherry blossom themed prints, which respond to the titles of Justice, Courage, Mercy, Politeness, Honesty, Honor, Loyalty, Control.
These recall the cardinal principles of Bushido, the way of the warrior, that is, the shared moral conduct that was to guide the lives and behaviors of the Japanese knights.

Between references to Pointillism and echoes of Action Painting, for Hirst flowers convey beauty, life, they are a form of art taken directly from nature.


Damien Hirst, “The Virtues”, 2021
Courtesy Heni Leviathan


But leaving out sources of inspiration and aesthetics of the prints, the artist’s statement – right inside the post – that has received more attention concerns the fact that the payments for these prints (available for a defined period of time and in a number limited to requests) could also be made through the use of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Quoting Hirst: “It’s hard for any of us to trust anything in this life but somehow we manage it and we even find love and I love art and I love the crypto world and I am happy and proud to put my belief into Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) and accept them for this drop.”


Courtesy @damienhirst Instagram


But the surprises don’t end there. Hirst also stated that he has been working, for five years now, on a new body of artworks: it will be called The Currency, including 10,000 works on paper currently stored in a vault and a blockchain tokenization will be related to it through the well-known NFT (non fungible token) together with the creation of a cryptocurrency.

And in this way it is clarified why he decided to sell his latest works accepting also payments in digital currency, it was perhaps the first indication of a larger future project, which in any case made him earn $ 22.4 million.
At the Financial Times the artist himself declared that this secret art project “challenges the concept of value through money and art”.