A thousand paintings that the sought-after British artist Damien Hirst dated in 2016 would have actually been painted on later dates, as The Guardian newspaper revealed this Wednesday. Hirst would have painted 10,000 of these works, a series of multicolored dots made by hand on A4 paper within the framework of The Currency project, a kind of artistic money.

The year appears on these works along with the signature of the artist, who also repeatedly stated that they were created on that date when they went on sale in 2021, both in physical format and in an NFT version. However, the buyer of the digital format could not get the physical one nor could the buyer of the physical one have the digital one. Hirst’s commitment was to incinerate any paintings that had been sold as NFTs.

The sale, which was made through dealer Heni, generated $18 million. According to the data of the operation, more than 5,000 physical paintings were awarded, almost 4,000 NFTs and the artist kept a thousand works that he chose to keep as NFT versions. “It is the most exciting project I have worked on so far,” Hirst declared on the occasion.

However, years later, several of Hirts’ collaborators on the project, including some who have claimed to complete or directly create many of the works in the series, have pointed out to The Guardian that a good part, at least a thousand paintings, were They were produced en masse between 2018 and 2019. One of the sources cited by the newspaper points out that the creation was, in reality, like “a Henry Ford production line.”

Each painting was marked with an embossed seal of authenticity and a title, date and signature written in pencil on the back. When Hirst’s team was questioned about this alleged forgery, their lawyers responded to the media that it is “common practice” to date the physical works in a conceptual art project with their date of conception, which in the case of The Currency was the 2016, de facto recognizing the subsequent creation of a good part of the series, although without offering more details.