Footage of Damien Hirst smashing up busker’s records at Claridge’s will be turned into an NFT

He recently set fire to millions of pounds worth of his own paintings, but Damien Hurst got his first taste of art destruction 12 years ago.

At the time, he was enlisted by busker and musician Daniel Spiller, 43, to help destroy his records right before his eyes in the name of art.

The two spent hours breaking records using log and poker in his suite at Claridge’s – one of the most expensive hotels in the world.

Now, photos of the historic day are set to become available for the first time – in the form of a non-tangible token (NFT).

Weeks after Hirst set fire to his own paintings, a video of him destroying a CD by Mr Spiller’s band, The Broken Record Project, has been sold as a work of digital art.

The two spent hours breaking records using log and poker in his suite at Claridge's - one of the most expensive hotels in the world.  Pictured: Photo of the stunt

The two spent hours breaking records using log and poker in his suite at Claridge’s – one of the most expensive hotels in the world. Pictured: Photo of the stunt

Weeks after Hirst set fire to his own paintings, a video of him destroying a CD by Mr Spiller's band, The Broken Record Project, has been sold as a work of digital art.

Weeks after Hirst set fire to his own paintings, a video of him destroying a CD by Mr Spiller’s band, The Broken Record Project, has been sold as a work of digital art.

At the time, he was enlisted by busker and musician Daniel Spiller, 43, to help destroy his records right before his eyes in the name of art

At the time, he was enlisted by busker and musician Daniel Spiller, 43, to help destroy his records right before his eyes in the name of art

NFT is verified by blockchain, which proves its originality and ownership. They can be purchased with cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ether – the currency of the Ethereum network.

Mr Spiller approached Hirst, along with several other celebrities, including Boris Johnson and comedian Hugh Dennis, to stage the controversial stunt.

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The British artist, 57, was so taken with the idea that he invited the singer, who is now on a bus on Southbank, London, to one of the most expensive hotels in the world for day.

The pair spent ‘wild’ hours together destroying the music, and Mr Spiller said Hirst was so enthusiastic about the stunt that he even dangled the ruptured disc from his nose as part of a ‘hilarious’ gag. .

‘Damien was great. His generosity with time and spirit was amazing,’ said Mr Spiller.

Mr Spiller joined Hirst, along with several other celebrities including Boris Johnson (also pictured taking part in the stunt)

Mr Spiller joined Hirst, along with several other celebrities including Boris Johnson (also pictured taking part in the stunt)

In Hirst's recent The Currency collection, 4,851 out of 10,000 of his A4 photographs caught fire and turned into NFTs.

In Hirst’s recent The Currency collection, 4,851 out of 10,000 of his A4 photographs caught fire and turned into NFTs.

“Hours were spent while he was talking, asking questions, handing out beer, he was just welcoming. He loved the idea and seemed to enjoy the absurdity and understand the artistic meaning.’

While destroying the CDs, Mr Spiller said he serenaded Hirst by singing and playing the guitar.

“The destruction of my art, the way I created it in front of him… it 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 most expensive hotel, singing sweetly in his ear as he breaks my music. . so surreal”.’

Video footage of the day was almost lost until Mr. Spiller found it in the trash he was taking to the tip, realizing only when the bag and its contents separated.

Inside were pieces of the album and the logo Hirst used to smash the CD he signed.

Mr Spiller says Hirst’s recent The Currency collection, which saw 4,851 out of 10,000 of his A4 drawings set on fire and turned into NFTs, reminded him ‘of the destruction of my art’ .

“I thought of a big Claridge’s fireplace, the wood and the poker they used for the break,” he said.

‘Destruction is a powerful and characteristic aspect of Damian’s brilliance.

‘Since we shared that day twelve years ago, I’ve been going in London and he’s reigned supreme as the most creative artist and most expensive in the world – that tells you enough about his magic.’

The digital artwork will be auctioned off on the musician’s website danielspiller.com in the coming weeks, with those looking to get their hands on the never-before-seen photos, and the named log, able to register their interest now.

Mr Spiller has had ‘fun suggestions’ about alternative payment methods – including swapping his NFT for one from Hirst’s recent polka-dot art collection.

‘Destroying my art had meaning and value to me, as well as causing a movement,’ he said, adding that he might one day display the other broken recording videos in a gallery.

‘There is something powerful about the dark and almost sinister film of my art being destroyed.’

Other celebrities participated in the stunt during the same year. He confirmed a hit with Dennis, presenter Fearne Cotton and Boris Johnson, who years later would go on to become prime minister.

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Mr Spiller revealed he only managed to get the former prime minister on board after he joined a party Mr Johnson was attending with a friend.

Mr. Spiller approached several artists to participate in his stunt back in 2010

Mr. Spiller approached several artists to participate in his stunt back in 2010

“I went up to him and asked him if he would destroy music, he thought it was a trap,” he said.

Mr Johnson said he did not want to be filmed apparently destroying something, worried it might be taken out of context later.

But soon, said Mr Spiller, he won Mr Johnson’s trust and the latter ‘entered into spirit’.

“It was great fun… He grabbed the music from my hand, made a fist, and finally announced to everyone that the record was broken,” Mr Spiller recalled.

“When the camera went off, he said he liked the whole thing and said it was a good idea.

‘It was excellent.’

Mr Spiller now hopes the sale of the NFT will help Hirst turn around its ‘recent bad luck’ – after its basket business was hit by the pandemic.

‘It’s been tough lately, buskers seem to be paying a high price – the pandemic meant we lost our performance venues on the Tube, the number of people still down, and a society without money now makes it more difficult,’ he said.

‘Recently sad? Yes, but that doesn’t hide the fact that I love what I do – sharing music with people is the greatest joy – I see how it brightens their day. ‘

Mr. Spiller approached several artists to participate in his stunt back in 2010

Mr. Spiller approached several artists to participate in his stunt back in 2010

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