Art’s enfant terrible Damien Hirst shares a glimpse of new coffee artwork ahead of plans to burn thousands of paintings for new project
Could this be the most expensive cup of coffee ever made?
The world’s richest artist, Damien Hirst, worth £315 million, has shared a glimpse of a new artwork, a cappuccino depicting in its milk foam the 57-year-old and his ex-ballerina girlfriend Sophie Cannell, 28.
According to Daily Mail’s Richard Eden, Hirst is to burn thousands of his famous dot paintings next month in a project focusing on art as currency.
Buyers who spent £1,600 on the physical art were given the option to see their investment torched in exchange for a digital version known as a Non-Fungible Token, (NFT).
An NFT is a unique computer file encrypted with an artist’s signature, which acts as a digital certificate of ownership and authenticity.
They probably needed something stronger than coffee after making that decision.
The world’s richest artist, Damien Hirst (left of both pictures), has shared a glimpse of a new artwork, a cappuccino (right picture) depicting in its milk foam the 57-year-old and his ex-ballerina girlfriend Sophie Cannell (right of both pictures), 28
He created 10,000 unique dot paintings in 2016, which were later linked to corresponding NFTs and sold for $2,000 (£1639) each.
Buyers were able to keep the NFTs or trade them in for the physical artwork.
4,180 people chose to swap their NFT for a physical artwork and 5,820 kept their NFTs, reported Heni, a technology company focusing on the art market.
The alternative versions are destroyed.
In the past few years, NFTs have been adopted by people seeking to turn art, music, videos and games into digital assets – and have been hailed as the digital answer to collectibles.
His love: Damien is said to be besotted with Sophie, who appears on the coffee artwork with him but despite him giving her a diamond ring, they are not engaged
Most NFTs use blockchain – the decentralized leger first used by bitcoin to track ownership of the cryptocurrency – to record who owns them and allow them to be traded or modified.
Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain – Ethereum is a cryptocurrency and one coin is worth 1,285.04 GBP or 1,628.43 USD.
Damien is said to be besotted with Sophie, who appears on the coffee artwork with him.
Better times: Damien’s love life prior to Sophie included his long-term girlfriend Maia Norman, with whom he shares three sons – at the UK premiere of Disney/pixar’s Finding Nemo in 2003
It was previously reported that the couple met at the swanky Chiltern Firehouse, where she used to work as a waitress.
Damien’s love life prior to Sophie included his long-term girlfriend Maia Norman, with whom he shares three sons.
The former couple are parents to Connor Ojala, 26, Cassius Atticus, 21, and Cyrus Joe, 16.
Although he never married Maia he referred to her as his ‘common-law wife’.
After his eldest child Connor’s birth, the artist spent much of his time in a remote farmhouse near Combe Martin in Devon.
What are NFTs?
What is an NFT?
A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a unique digital token encrypted with an artist’s signature and which verifies its ownership and authenticity and is permanently attached to the piece.
What do they look like?
Most NFTs include some kind of digital artwork, such as photos, videos, GIFs, and music. Theoretically, anything digital could be turned into an NFT.
Where do you buy them?
At the moment, NFTs are most commonly sold in so-called ‘drops’, timed online sales by blockchain-backed marketplaces like Nifty Gateway, Opensea and Rarible.
Why would I want to own one?
There’s an array of reasons why someone may want to buy an NFT. For some, the reason may be emotional value, because NFTs are seen as collectors’ items. For others, they are seen as an investment opportunity similar to cryptocurrencies, because the value could increase.
When were NFTs created?
Writer and podcaster Andrew Steinwold traced the origins of NFTs back to 2012, with the creation of the Colored Coins cryptocurrency. But NFTs didn’t move into the mainstream until five years later, when the blockchain game CryptoKitties began selling virtual cats in 2017.