He recently set his multi-million pound paintings on fire, but Damien Hurst had his first taste of art destruction 12 years ago.
This time, he was enlisted by busker and musician Daniel Spiller, 43, to help him destroy his records right before his eyes in the name of art.
The couple spent hours breaking records using log and poker in his suite at Claridge’s – one of the most expensive hotels in the world.
Now, images of the historic day are set to be available for the first time – in the form of a virtual token (NFT).
Weeks after Hirst burned his paintings, a video of him destroying a CD by Mr Spiller’s former group The Broken Record Project will be sold as a digital artwork.
The couple spent hours breaking records using log and poker in his suite at Claridge’s – one of the most expensive hotels in the world. Image: Stunt pictures
Weeks after Hirst burned his paintings, a video of him destroying a CD by Mr. Hirst’s former band went viral.
At that time, he was enlisted by busker and musician Daniel Spiller, 43, to help destroy his records before his eyes in the name of art.
The NFT is verified by the blockchain, which verifies its ownership and ownership. They can be bought with cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ether – the currency of the Ethereum network.
Mr Spiller approached Hirst, along with other celebrities including Boris Johnson and comedian Hugh Dennis, to stake the claim.
The British artist, 57 years old, was so taken by the idea that he invited the singer, who is now boarding a bus in Southbank, London, one of the most expensive hotels in the world for the day.
The pair spent ‘wild’ hours together destroying music, and Mr Spiller said Hirst was so enthusiastic about the stunt that he even stuck a broken album up his nose as part of a funny ‘gag’.
‘Damien was brilliant. His kindness in time and spirit was amazing,” Mr Spiller said.
Mr Spiller approached Hirst, as well as other celebrities including Boris Johnson (pictured taking part in the match).
Hirst’s latest collection of Money, saw 4,851 of his 10,000 A4 drawings burned and turned into NFTs.
‘Hours were spent talking, asking questions, handing out beers, he was incredibly welcoming. He loved the idea and seemed to enjoy mischief and understand the meaning of art.’
All the while destroying the CDs, Mr Spiller said he was ‘teasing’ Hirst by singing and playing guitar.
‘The destruction of my art, as I created before him… seemed to touch him on an artistic level,’ he said.
‘I remember thinking to myself, ‘I’m a busker from the street but I’m sitting with the most expensive artist in the world, in his suite in an expensive hotel, singing sweetly into his ear as he breaks my music. .how completely surreal”.’
The video of that day was almost lost until Mr. Spiller found them in the garbage he was picking up, only to realize when the bag burst open and its contents spilled.
Inside were pieces of a record and a log that Hirst had used to crush the CD he had signed.
Mr Spiller says Hirst’s latest fundraiser, which saw 4,851 of his 10,000 A4 paintings burned and turned into NFTs, reminded him of the ‘destruction of my art’.
‘I thought of a large Claridge’s fireplace, wood and a poker used for hacking,’ he said.
‘Destruction is a powerful vision and quality of Damian’s genius.
‘Since we shared that day twelve years ago, I’ve continued to travel to London and he’s continued to reign supreme as the world’s most talented and underrated artist – which tells you a lot about his magic.’
The digital painting will be sold on the artist’s website danielspiller.com in the coming weeks, and those who are interested in getting their hands on the abstract images, with a signed log, can register their interest now.
Mr Spiller already has some ‘exciting suggestions’ for other payment methods – including exchanging his one NFT from Hirst’s recent polka-dot art collection.
‘Destroying my art was meaningful and valuable to me, and it caused chaos,’ he said, adding that he might one day show some of the recorded videos in the gallery.
‘There is something powerful about the destruction of the dark and almost overwhelming images of my art.’
Other celebrities have also participated throughout the year. Prove it Hitting with Dennis, broadcaster Fearne Cotton and Boris Johnson, who would go on years later to become prime minister.
Mr Spiller revealed he managed to get the former prime minister on board after sneaking into a party Mr Johnson was with a friend.
Mr. Spiller approached several artists to participate in his 2010 comeback
“I sat next to him and asked him if he could play some music, he thought it was a trap,” he said.
Mr Johnson said he did not want to be photographed looking like he was destroying something, worried it would be taken out of context.
But soon, Mr Spiller said, he gained Mr Johnson’s trust and the latter ‘got into his spirit’.
‘He was very happy… He grabbed the music from my hand, tightened his fist, and finally announced to everyone that the record had been broken,’ recalled Mr Spiller.
‘When the camera went off he whispered that he enjoyed it all and said it was a good idea.
‘He was excellent.’
Mr Spiller now hopes the sale of the Hirst NFT will help reverse his ‘latest misfortune’ – after his bus business suffered during the pandemic.
“It’s been tough lately, buses seem to be paying a high price – the pandemic means we’ve lost our Tube stations, footfall is still low, and the cash-strapped community is now struggling,” he said.
‘Having a hard time lately? Yes, but that doesn’t hide the fact that I love what I do – sharing music with people is the most rewarding part – seeing how it brightens their day.’
Mr. Spiller met with several artists to participate in his 2010 retrospective