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UK’s richest artist will burn thousands of his works; murals empower India’s transgenders; and more from the world of art


While we focus on Indian art, we can’t obviously function in a vacuum. It’s a small world and everything is connected, especially on the web. So, let’s train our spotlight across the world map to see what’s going on — from art trends to socio-political issues to everything that affects the great aesthetic global consciousness. Or, let’s just travel the world and have some fun!


Damien Hirst to burn thousands of his paintings



Famous for pickling dead animals in the 1990s, artist Damien Hirst is all set to burn thousands of his paintings next month in a project focusing on art as currency. Hirst — who was the UK’s richest artist in 2020 with a net worth of more than £315m — will destroy the artworks at his London gallery. He has created 10,000 unique dot paintings in 2016, each with its own title and later linked to corresponding NFTs, which sold for $2,000 each. Buyers were given the option of keeping the NFTs or trading them in for the physical artwork. “The collector … cannot keep both. This exchange is a one-way process, so choose carefully,” buyers were told. Before a deadline of 3pm today, 4,180 people have chosen to swap their NFT for a physical artwork, with 5,820 opting to keep their NFTs. The alternative version is to be destroyed, with the physical artworks – oil on paper – going up in flames on a daily basis from 9 September. The Guardian reports.


Top art collectors selling $8.5-million estate in New York


Sherry and Joel Mallin, two of the world’s top collectors of contemporary art, have listed a Pound Ridge, New York, estate which for years served as a showcase for their thousand-plus piece art collection. The nearly 14-acre property, known to its thousands of visitors as the Buckhorn Sculpture Park, contains eight structures including a sprawling, 1930s-era main house and a 9,200-square-foot, museum-quality exhibition space. The property also includes a forested area, rolling lawns, vast flower beds, and a large pond — and it is priced at $8.5 million. Over the years, the duo has amassed cutting-edge artworks like pieces by Sol Lewitt, Richard Serra and Anish Kapoor. For these, they built a structure they call their “art barn”, with “all the specifications you need to create a museum”. As for their art collection, “some of it will be donated, some will be sold, some will be gifted”. Bloomberg Asia has more details.


Aravani Art Project is using murals to empower India’s transgender community


An art collective led by both trans and cis women, Aravani Art Project’s murals have become recognisable markers of self-expression, awareness and acceptance around the country. The artworks are vibrant and usually featuring individuals from different walks of life or, in some cases, reflecting the artists’ own faces. The collective has already splashed walls across Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru — as well as Facebook’s headquarters in San Francisco — allowing trans women to earn a livelihood through the medium of art, while reclaiming a space from which they’ve been historically and studiously excluded. The artists also unveiled a 50ft-long mural at India Art Fair this year. And yet, the women admit it is still challenging for them to secure permission to paint on walls, thanks to the prejudices of transphobes. Vogue India tells you more.