Exclusive Destruction in the Name of Value — Nathan Murdoch Talks Crypto-Art, NFTs and Control

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In Brief
  • Street artist Nathan Murdoch destoryed his origional piece and minted an NFT.

  • He explains this was his way of providing value and controlling its existence.

  • Murdoch plans more artworks with this fleeting physical lifespan.

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NFTs have exploded in popularity, especially in the art scene. However, one street artist took it to a new level when he destroyed the original, leaving only the NFT and print behind.

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BeinCrypto spoke to Nathan Murdoch, a street artist from the United Kingdom. His latest artwork, a pair of gloved hands in prayer, has been made into an NFT. In addition to minting the artwork, Murdoch chose to destroy the original, so it can never be seen again.

First time NFT, long time hodler

This is Murdoch’s first-ever NFT but he has been involved in crypto for about six years.

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“In the past 6 months, seeing and reading the success of a local artist Metageist has inspired artists from my city to the NFT space,’ he said.

“I thought about this for a long time and concluded I spend many days working alone, absorbing music for hours and hours a day. I thought I want to start creating art like the music that inspires me. I want to create art that provokes a conversation.”

“From having 2 paintings go globally viral, the unexpected and emotive connections I made with strangers through painting on a wall has been extremely powerful,” he said.

An art piece for the NHS

Murdoch’s piece is one that he was asked to complete during one of the early lockdowns. The artwork was commissioned to be auctioned off, with proceeds going towards the NHS. This was expected to be a standard physical piece, but he wasn’t able to finish it at the time.

However, this proved promising as the shift to a later date coincided with the rise in interest in NFTs globally, piquing his interest.

“I was always planning to complete the work in a physical print format, but with the growth of the NFT world, it seemed fitting to do a crossover of both.”

The ultimate piece, called “God bless the NHS,” was inspired by his mother, who has been working as part of the health service for over 20 years.

“The piece is essentially praying hands in surgical gloves but in rainbow colors as rainbows were used and displayed for the pandemic in the UK as a symbol of positivity.”

Destruction to promote value

What sets Murdoch’s work apart is his choice to destroy the original, leaving only a print and the digital NFT behind. He said that this makes the painting more valuable.

“I had to control its existence, so I had the idea of creating and destroying a painting down to a singular image. I will be auctioning 2 1/1 versions of this artwork to raise money for the NHS. All other still versions of the artwork have been destroyed, controlling its existence to these images and the timelapse.”

Murdoch sees this as an evolution of the street art form. He sees this as a way to hustle art to his advantage, advice he received from UK graffiti legend, Aroe.

“Graffiti/ street art culture is full of politics and unwritten rules, many I still do believe in, and some I feel need to evolve.”

Future NFT artwork

He plans to release a small series of artworks as NFTs, through the same process of creation and destruction. These will also be for charitable causes.

“For my own personal OCD I guess, I want to keep my works consistent to the site their listed on. So I plan to do other types of artwork but I would release them onto a different platform essentially.”

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After working in news and lifestyle journalism, Leila decided to bring her interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain to her day job. She now runs the Features and Opinions desk at BeinCrypto which fits perfectly with her enthusiasm for crypto's social and political impact.

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