Meet the brothers who collect Damien Hirst’s NFTs, what’s behind the latest split between downtown artist galleries and more gossip from the art world

Every week, Artnet News brings you Wet Paint, a column of original scoop gossip. If you have any advice, email Annie Armstrong at [email protected]


Last July, two of the best buzzwords in the art world congratulated each other on creating a moderately interesting project: Damien hirst minted TVNs. The project, titled “The Currency”, came with a catch. Hirst has created and sold over 10,000 NFT of his famous dot paintings, each with a corresponding flesh and blood imprint. Buyers should choose between either “burning” the NFT and exchanging it for the painting, or keeping the NFT and letting the artist “burn” the painting. Only one of the two would survive.

NFTs sold for a whopping $ 2,000 apiece, but Hirst raked in over $ 22 million in the process. What he can not I had anticipated is that the project would give birth to a new type of collector, who knows almost nothing about art and a lot about finance. Yes, a new kind of guy has just fallen: the finance brother who now loves art and collecting after buying an NFT.

The official window for NFT buyers to trade their digital assets for IRLs opened last week. (It closes July 27, 2022 at 3 p.m. BST.) To find out what the brothers were thinking, Fresh paint slapped on some salmon shorts and ventured to new Yorkthe noisiest neighborhood in, Murray Hill.

Hirst’s NFT sales chart from “The Currency”. Courtesy of HENI.

“I keep it 100% as an NFT,” said Joey quiros, a 33-year-old real estate broker. “For me, this is the first major NFT project where an artist of this caliber had immersed himself in this space. And I think that represents something special.

Prior to his purchase, Quiros admits he didn’t know much about the fine arts. But this investment has changed the situation: “Suddenly, I find myself reading books on contemporary art! I am fascinated by the provenance! I am fascinated by all these different aspects of art in which I have never had the slightest interest.

Brett Klein, a 33-year-old financial advisor, told Wet Paint he was pretty torn from the window opening, but eventually came out on Quiros’ side. “While I would love to have a Damien Hirst piece hanging in my apartment, I think in the long run from a historical perspective I’d better keep the digital version of it,” he said. he declares.

Like Quiros, Klein said the experience of purchasing this NFT opened his mind to fine art, and even more traditional collecting, as soon as he figured out how to file taxes for his new asset. . “Some of the tax issues get a little tricky in the NFT space, so I have to figure that out,” Klein explained. “But after that, yes, I plan to dive.”

To balance my reporting, I returned downtown look for who I consider to be maybe the eminent brother of the art-tech space: artist and provocateur Ryder ripps. Ripps himself hadn’t bought any of the Hirst NFTs, but he had such a clear game plan of what to do with it that he maybe should have.

“I would trade it for a paint, then NFT the paint,” he told Wet Paint. Then Ripps said that he would “bid on my own NFT a ton under an anonymous account and then that account would sell it a lot more on another anonymous account.” (Plus, he would keep the paint.)

And this, ladies and gentlemen, that’s what the finance brothers call arbitration.


Pamela Council with the model for A Fountain for Survivors in Times Square, New York.  Photo by Alex Webster courtesy of Times Square Arts.

Advice Pamela with the model for A fountain for the survivors in Times Square, New York. Photo by Alex Webster courtesy of Times Square Arts.

There are a multitude of reasons an artist may leave their gallery: to reach a new collector base, to gain more attention from a dealer, to be associated with a different group of artists. Sometimes these moves boil down to what we politely call in business creative differences.

Last week saw such a move as amount Pamela Advice severed ties with their gallery Denny Dimin the same day as the new York Times ran an artist profile to tag their new project with Times Square Arts. (The installation, A fountain for the survivors, uses hundreds of thousands of acrylic mosaic nails to create a fully functional cocoon-shaped fountain.)

After the Council sharply posted the news on Twitter, the artist Lumumba Pastiche was quick to respond: “I think you posted so as not to run out of ideas. It’ll be fine. ”To which the Council responded,“ I have to do what you have to do. ”

Several sources told Wet Paint that there had been tension between the gallery and the Council during the installation of the fountain, with a spy reporting a garish match between the artist and a gallery owner in the space, with visitors present, shortly after the opening of the Times Square project.

“We care a lot about our artists and the supportive culture we have built at the gallery”, Elizabeth denny told Wet Paint via email, declining to comment on the details of the split. “We fulfilled all of our professional obligations to Pamela until the end of their exhibition and offered our full support to their recent Times Square Arts commission. However, through this process, we have come to recognize that it is not a productive or long-term sustainable relationship. We wish Pamela all the best going forward.

The Council declined to comment, but a representative confirmed that the artist’s relationship with Times Square Arts remains strong, as does the relationship between Denny Dimin and Times Square Arts. (Just be happy that you weren’t attending Thanksgiving with this whole group.)

It is not yet clear where the board will show next.


Rita Ora performs at the Two x Two Gala. Photo by Kevin Tachman.

*** Jay Z and Georgina Bloomberg at the inauguration of the (pee-stained) Basquiat portrait by Andy warhol To Barclays Center *** Kehinde Wiley and his dogs at the opening of Nicodimthe new Soho space *** Tony hawk leaving Cinema Forum, I hope after seeing the fabulous new documentary on The velvet metro, but who knows *** Artist Raul De Nieves, Say founder Lauren Boyle, and designer Telfar Clemens dinner at Bacaro in Square of dimes *** Jake gyllenhaal to Lower East Side‘s The Haberdashery, turning heads in a yellow sweater with her hair in a loose bun *** Jenna gribbon at the charity auction gala Two x two in Dallas to Rachofsky House, where none other than Who Queen Rita Ora carried out ***


… A certain semi-anonymous artist (but we can make an educated guess confident enough) is not a very caring patron for ten centsDavid Roy a.k.a NOIRNASA will launch a rocket from Dan Colen‘s Sky Farm in upstate New York next weekend … Miles McEnery now represents the figurative painter Kurt kauperBen sutton left his post at Artistic take over as Editor-in-Chief, Americas for The arts journal New Museum Triennial come out Cynthia Daignault joined Kasmin‘s roster, starting with a solo exhibition next month … A portrait of criticism Dean kissick through Srijon Chowdhury was apparently purchased by a (Peak lover of art magazines?) Indian prince… Jen Stark and Daniel Arshamthe benchmark NFT striking platform CXIP will be doing guerrilla marketing all over New York next week, so keep an eye out for… A beloved ceramic figurine has been snatched from James murphy‘s Brooklyn restaurant The four horsemen


A very endearing question mark sculpture by Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell at the University of Suffolk.  (Photo by: Geography Photos / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A very endearing question mark sculpture by Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell at the University of Suffolk. (Photo by: Geography Photos / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

One of the best things about loyal readers of this column is that you are all dogmatic. Let’s capitalize on this! Going forward, Wet Paint will give readers a think tank every week. Send your response by e-mail to [email protected], and in each column, I’m going to put together the smartest, funniest, and most surprising answers for everyone to read.

To start, I ask you this: What do you think is the most overrated work of art in the world? And the most underestimated?

I already have my answers. What are yours?

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