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 first tried to destroy art 12 years ago.

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

The couple spent hours breaking records using a register and poker in their suite at Claridge’s, one of the world’s most expensive hotels.

Now, images of the historic day will be available for the first time, in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT).

Weeks after Hirst set fire to his own paintings, video of him destroying a CD by Mr Spiller’s former band The Broken Record Project is to be auctioned off as a digital artwork.

The couple spent hours breaking records using a register and poker in their suite at Claridge's, one of the world's most expensive hotels.  Pictured: stunt picture

The couple spent hours breaking records using a register and poker in their suite at Claridge’s, one of the world’s most expensive hotels. Pictured: stunt picture

Weeks after Hirst set fire to his own paintings, video of him destroying a CD by Mr Spiller's former band The Broken Record Project is to be auctioned off as a digital artwork.

Weeks after Hirst set fire to his own paintings, video of him destroying a CD by Mr Spiller’s former band The Broken Record Project is to be auctioned off as a digital artwork.

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

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

An NFT is authenticated by blockchain, which certifies its originality and ownership. They can be bought with cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ether, the currency of the Ethereum network.

Spiller approached Hirst, along with other celebrities, such as Boris Johnson and comedian Hugh Dennis, to launch the controversial trick.

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The British artist, 57, was so impressed by the idea that he invited the singer, who is now spending a day in London’s Southbank, to one of the most expensive hotel suites in the world.

The pair spent “wild” hours together destroying the music, with Spiller saying Hirst was so enthused by the stunt that he even dangled the smashed record from his nose as part of a “funny” gag.

‘Damien was brilliant. Their generosity in time and in spirit was amazing,” Spiller said.

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

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

In Hirst's recent The Currency collection, 4,851 out of 10,000 of his A4 paintings were set on fire and turned into NFTs.

In Hirst’s recent The Currency collection, 4,851 out of 10,000 of his A4 paintings were set on fire and turned into NFTs.

“He would spend hours talking, asking questions, providing beers, he was incredibly welcoming. He loved the concept and seemed to enjoy the mischief and understand the artistic meaning.’

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

“The destruction of my art, as I created it in front of him … seemed to touch him on an artistic level,” he said.

“I remember thinking to myself, ‘I’m a busker, but I’m sitting with the most expensive artist in the world, in his most expensive hotel suite, singing sweetly into his ear while the music crushes me.’ how surreal”.

The day’s video footage was almost lost until Mr. Spiller found it in the garbage he was taking to the landfill, only to find that the bag had been ripped open and its contents spilled.

Inside were fragments of the disc and the record that Hirst had used to smash the CD that he had also signed.

Spiller says Hirst’s recent collection The Currency, which saw 4,851 of his A4 paintings set on fire and turned into NFTs, reminded him of “the destruction of my art”.

“I thought of the big Claridge’s fireplace, the wood and the poker used to smash it,” he said.

‘Destruction is a powerful visual and typical of Damian’s brilliance.

“Since we shared that day twelve years ago, I have continued to work in London and he has continued his reign as the world’s most creative and expensive artist – that speaks volumes for his magic.”

The digital artwork will be auctioned off on the musician’s website danielspiller.com in the coming weeks, and those interested in getting their hands on the unseen footage and signed record can register their interest now.

Mr. Spiller has already had some “fun proposals” for 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 being shocking,” he said, adding that he might one day display the other broken videos in a gallery.

“There is something powerful about the dark, almost grainy image of my art being destroyed.”

Other celebrities also participated in the trick throughout the same year. it was tested a hit with Dennis, presenter Fearne Cotton and Boris Johnson, who years later would become Prime Minister.

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Spiller revealed he only managed to get the former prime minister on board after sneaking into a party where Johnson was with a friend.

Mr Spiller approached several artists to take part in his stunt in 2010

Mr Spiller approached several artists to take part in his stunt in 2010

“I walked up to him and asked him if he destroyed some music, he thought it was cheating,” he said.

Johnson said he didn’t want to be filmed destroying something, worried it might later be taken out of context.

But soon, Spiller said, he gained Mr. Johnson and this “got into the spirit.”

“It was super fun… He took the music out of my hand, made a fist, and finally proclaimed to everyone that the record was broken,” Spiller recalled.

“When the camera went off, he muttered that he liked everything and said it was a great idea.

“It was great.”

Spiller now hopes the sale of the Hirst NFT will help turn around his “recent bad luck” after his busking business took a hit during the pandemic.

“Recently it has been difficult, street musicians seem to pay a high price: the pandemic has made us lose our performance venues in the metro, the number of people has decreased even more and a society without money now makes it difficult,” he said.

‘Recent hard times? 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 take part in his stunt in 2010

Mr Spiller approached several artists to take part in his stunt in 2010

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