This week British artist Damian Hirst began the process of burning hundreds of paintings that he had instead turned into NFTs. Hirst asked buyers of his collection of 10,000 dot paintings called The Currency to choose between a physical version of the piece or the NFT and is now destroying the unwanted versions.
Shortly after the burning began, Planet Crypto was unexpectedly contacted by famed 15th century painter, sculptor, and architect Michelangelo with his view on Hirst’s stunt.
“I think it’s brilliant”, said the Renaissance genius via Ouija board. “All the lads here in the afterlife – me, Monet, Rodin, Rembrandt – we’re all huge fans of Damian, we think he’s a much better artist than we were. When Damian burns a painting, the way the smoke follows you round the room is just genius. I know that Da Vinci wishes he’d thought of 10,000 dot paintings instead of slaving over the Mona Lisa and inventing the helicopter.”
“Anyway, I’ve decided I want to improve my own body of work by destroying it. So here are my instructions – I’d like the ceiling of The Sistine Chapel in Rome to be painted over in magnolia. It took me four years to paint but I reckon you should be able to do it in a couple of coats. I’d advise getting one of those spray painting machines because, trust me, painting a ceiling plays hell with your neck. Then maybe add some recessed LED spotlights where The Creation of Adam uses to be ‘cos that’ll look wicked cool. Then just mint an NFT of the original and stick it up on Instagram for the tourists.”
“Next, I’d like you to take a sledgehammer to my sculpture of David in Florence. Actually I’ve changed my mind, use a pneumatic drill. You might be able to sell the bits as gravel and that’s pretty expensive these days. It’s a 5 metre tall heroic male nude depicting a nervous David before his battle with Goliath, with signature contrappostro effect in the axial plane, but I’m sure that’ll come across just as well in a 10cm NFT on a Samsung Galaxy.”
“Then onto St Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican which I also designed. Did you know it’s the largest church in the world and the foremost example of Renaissance architecture? Anyway, burn it down and replace it with an NFT. If you get any pushback from The Pope, tell him everyone in the afterlife can see what he gets up to when he’s alone and we’re not afraid to share it. He’ll know.”
Planet Crypto asked Michelangelo if he definitely wanted to destroy what are priceless works of art? He replied, “Yeah, ‘cos that’s part of the problem. When it’s priceless, I’ve got no idea what I’d get for it. When it’s an NFT, I’ll know exactly how many ETH it’s worth. Of course, I don’t know day to day how much ETH is worth, but one problem at a time.”
“Anyway, I’ll hand you over to Da Vinci now. He wants you to re-do the Mona Lisa as a Bored Ape.”