Hirst painting set “The Virtues” is inspired by the Eight Virtues of Bushido: “Justice, Courage, Mercy, Politeness, Honesty, Honour, Loyalty, Control.”

Artist Damien Hirst poses in front of his artwork entitled 'I am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds' in the Tate Modern art gallery in London, England, on April 2, 2012.
Artist Damien Hirst poses in front of his artwork entitled 'I am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds' in the Tate Modern art gallery in London, England, on April 2, 2012. (Getty Images)

British artist Damien Hirst and printmaker HENI Leviathan have announced the release of a print run of eight Hirst paintings, which will be available for purchase with the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

According to the announcement, “For the first time, both HENI Leviathan and the artist Damien Hirst will be accepting cryptocurrency for payment of editions, payments can be made by either Bitcoin or ether, as well as by credit or debit card.”

Talking about cryptocurrencies, Hirst said, “It’s hard for any of us to trust anything in this life but somehow we manage it and we even find love and I love art and I love the crypto world and I am happy and proud to put my belief into Bitcoin and Ether and accept them for this drop.”

HENI Leviathan accepting cryptocurrency payments is also a sign of growing adoption from the institutional art world. The printmaker is among the most widely respected among fine artists and collectors and has featured runs from other artists of historical significance.

Damien Hirst's artwork called 'Justice' from his latest painting set 'The Virtues'.
Damien Hirst's artwork called 'Justice' from his latest painting set 'The Virtues'. ()
Damien Hirst's artwork called 'Courage' from his latest painting set 'The Virtues'.
Damien Hirst's artwork called 'Courage' from his latest painting set 'The Virtues'. ()

Hirst has been chronicling his process in creating them on his Instagram page, and he says that the paintings “are about beauty and life and death” themes and forces he frequently explores in his work.

Referencing Impressionism, Pointillism and Action Painting, the Cherry Blossoms are about the spontaneous joy of spring.  

“Cherry Blossoms are about beauty and life and death. They’re extreme, there’s something hopeful yet hopeless about them. They’re art but taken from nature. They’re about desire and how we process love and why we need it, but also these prints are about the momentary, the insane transience of beauty – a tree in full crazy blossom against a clear blue sky," Hirst said.

READ MORE: Major Damien Hirst exhibition to open in Switzerland's St Moritz

Damien Hirst's artwork called 'Mercy' from his latest painting set 'The Virtues'.
Damien Hirst's artwork called 'Mercy' from his latest painting set 'The Virtues'. ()
Damien Hirst's artwork called 'Honesty' from his latest painting set 'The Virtues'.
Damien Hirst's artwork called 'Honesty' from his latest painting set 'The Virtues'. ()

Rise of cryptocurrency

Bitcoin has enjoyed a record-breaking week after electric carmaker Tesla and Wall Street finance giants sparked a goldrush for the world's most popular virtual currency, but bubble fears persist.

Investors and mega-corporations alike have been wooed by dizzying growth and the opportunity for profit and asset diversification.

The unit blasted past $50,000 following a week in which Tesla invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin and vowed customers could use it to buy vehicles and both New York bank BNY Mellon and credit card titan MasterCard announced plans to support bitcoin.

The cryptocurrency then vaulted higher, topping $52,000 on Wednesday after investment fund giant BlackRock also confirmed a push into the booming sector.

Yet this week's astonishing ascendancy of bitcoin has sparked renewed fears of a big bubble which the market had last experienced four years ago.

Born in 1965 in Bristol, UK, Damien Hirst is one of the most well-known members of the Young British Artists.  That reputation generated sales and made him one of the richest living artists in the UK.

In 2012, Tate Modern, London presented a major retrospective survey of Hirst’s work in conjunction with the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. In 2017, he presented his most complex project to date, "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable," across two spaces in Venice.

READ MORE: What can you buy with Bitcoin?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies