7467. Shush the Skin
7467. Shush the Skin
enamel on handmade paper
An original hand-signed Damien Hirst enamel painting.
Unique enamel paint on handmade paper.
Hand-signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil on then verso “7467/Shush the Skin/2016/Damien Hirst”. Also bearing the artist’s blindstamp, microdot, hallmark and hologram on the verso.
One of 10,000 unique variants from the series The Currency. Published by Heni, London.
8 7/16 x 11 ¾ inches
Damien Hirst has often been considered the definitive enfant terrible and impresario of contemporary art since his monumental rise to global stardom in the 1990s as the figurehead of the Young British Artists (YBAs). His exhibitions and ventures have consistently drawn broad acclaim and criticism, such is the nature of his practice to polarise and activate the passions of his audience. He has never shied away from ideas that would be deemed too unwieldy or all-encompassing for the purview of fine art, approaching life, death, the psyche, and the nature of mythos with a confidence that is nothing short of inspirational.
In such a vein, presented here is Hirst’s most recent and ingenious project: his first NFT ‘drop’, titled The Currency. Launched in 2021 and endorsed by Mark Carney, former Bank of England governor, Hirst produced 10,000 unique works – attractive abstract spot paintings on heavyweight paper that are instantly recognizable as Hirst’s iconic motif – that exist both as the physical work and a corresponding Non-Fungible Token (NFT). Upon purchase, the buyer was forced to choose between the physical or the digital asset, with the leftover piece being destroyed or burned. The entire 10,000-piece drop sold out and has since become one of the most appreciating and highly sought-after works by NFT and art collectors alike.
The work presented here is “7467. Shush the Skin” – a physical piece whose corresponding NFT has been burned and only the tangible work remains. Ranked by machine-learning artificial intelligence, the pieces are graded on their color composition, the weight of the paper, as well as their titles. The present work represents one of the most exciting enterprises by Hirst, himself one of the pioneers of contemporary artistic practice in the 21st century, to challenge not only the hegemony of capital and financial instruments, but also of the nascent divide between the physical and virtual worlds.
“The Currency is an artwork, and anyone who buys it will participate in this work, it’s not just about owning it. It is the most exciting project I have ever worked on by far.”