HENI 2022, Year in Review

6 min read  ·  23 Dec 2022

January

HENI started off the year with the exciting announcement that Damien Hirst's The Currency would become the first NFT project to use Chainlink's industry-leading oracles to integrate up-to-date pricing information into the blockchain.

HENI was also proud to release 'The Empresses', a striking series of prints by Damien Hirst. HENI offered the 'The Empresses' as both physical prints and as HENI Editions NFT Deeds™, a new category of NFT providing greater flexibility for collectors.

The Empresses, Damien Hirst, 2022

The Empresses, Damien Hirst, 2022

February

Excitement surrounding 'The Empresses' carried into February, as HENI exhibited the prints at the HENI Gallery in Soho, enabling collectors to examine the intricacies of the works firsthand.

February was also a busy month for HENI Art Club, which presented a number of exciting talks for its members. Among these was an insightful presentation from Dr. James Fox, the award-winning broadcaster, Cambridge art historian, author, and curator, exploring the history and cultural significance of colour throughout time. HENI also hosted a conversation with James Birch, who, as a young British curator in 1988, mounted a ground-breaking retrospective of Francis Bacon's work at the newly refurbished Central House of Artists, Moscow. James's recently published memoir Bacon in Moscow became available to HENI Art Club members via the eBook library.

Readers also saw HENI Publishing's release of MadC: Street to Canvas, the first monograph on the world-renowned contemporary artist and muralist MadC, featuring paintings exhibited at HENI Gallery in 2021.

MadC: Street to Canvas, Luisa Hesse, 2021

MadC: Street to Canvas, Luisa Hesse, 2021

March

March got off to an exciting start with an exclusive HENI Art Club virtual event, "Full of Nervous Life: Rediscovering Keith Cunningham", where HENI's own art historian Dr. Laura Spada explored the extraordinary life and work of the Australian artist. Later in the month, HENI Art Club members were also invited to a virtual talk with internationally-renowned art historian and former Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Paul Greenhalgh, on the history of ceramics.

HENI closed out the month with another exciting HENI Publishing release: Annette Messager's Tête à Tête, the first book dedicated to the drawings of this trailblazing artist, including numerous never-before-seen works.

Paul Greenhalgh: Ceramic Art and Civilisation HAT

Paul Greenhalgh: Ceramic Art and Civilisation HAT

April

The coming of spring ushered in a flurry of activity at HENI, starting with a particularly exciting event for the HENI Community. In his second live AMA, Damien Hirst answered questions from the HENI Discord community, discussing everything from The Currency to his own views on life, creativity, and the value of money.

Also in April, HENI Art Club hosted its first Collecting Masterclass, led by James Baskerville, prints and multiples specialist and Head of Sale for Banksy Editions at Christie's, who provided valuable insight into starting or building a prints collection. HENI Art Club members also gained digital access to every Francis Bacon artwork at their fingertips as the landmark Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné became available on the HENI Art Club eBook library.

New books from HENI Publishing rounded off April, including two particularly thought-provoking titles: Calais. Testimonies from the 'Jungle' 2006-2020 by Bruno Serralongue publishes for the first time Serralongue's riveting photographs of refugee journeys, while Tommy Kane's Vegan Art: A Book of Visual Protest confronts animal farming head-on through a collection of artworks.

Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné

Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné

May

May was a particularly exciting month in the world of NFTs, starting with an exciting new release by MadC. The internationally-renowned street artist launched Color Rhythms, her first collection of innovative NFTs, exclusively available through HENI. This boundary-pushing collection combined a sophisticated algorithm and machine learning-generated titles with works from MadC's physical practice.

The Currency collectors also saw some special activations in May. There had been many suggestions from the community for a framing solution for The Currency, so HENI Leviathan was delighted to release a custom frame for The Currency. The Currency Frame allows holders of physical Tenders to display their artworks showing both the front and the back in the best possible way. Members of The Currency NFT community were also invited to an exclusive tour of Damien Hirst's London studios, where they received signed paper spin paintings and learned more about Damien's artistic process.

HENI Talks added to its art historical collection with an insightful presentation by British Museum Director Hartwig Fischer on the museum's pediment sculptures, which included stunning, detailed footage of the sculptures filmed by drone.

Finally, HENI wrapped up the month with another great HENI Art Club event, this time hearing from contemporary artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman on her boundary-breaking multimedia career.

The Currency Frame

The Currency Frame

June

June began with the HENI Editions and Fondation Beyeler release of six limited-edition Peter Doig prints based on his original ‘Zermatt’ snowscape paintings from 2020 and 2021. This exciting release, which comprises Doig’s first thematic group of works, was accompanied by an exhibition of the prints at the HENI Gallery in Soho.

In June HENI was also delighted to launch the new HENI News, which uses the latest machine learning technology to bring together all the latest art and NFT news from thousands of sources into one accessible platform. This new free-to-use platform became available online and as an app for iOS and Android.

Later in the month, Dr. Brad Evans, Professor of Political Violence & Aesthetics at the University of Bath, treated HENI Art club members to a talk on the importance of art as a transgressive witness to history, referencing some of art's most famous works that have been used to document historical events.

HENI Publishing released two wonderful new editions of books by artist Sabine Moritz: JENA Düsseldorf and Lobeda, which feature hundreds of the artist's sketches and paintings.

D1-3 Lost, Zermatt, Peter Doig, 2022

D1-3 Lost, Zermatt, Peter Doig, 2022

July

On 14 July, HENI celebrated the first anniversary of the HENI Discord, which was created to coincide with the original launch of Damien Hirst's The Currency in 2021. In its first year, the HENI Discord flourished thanks to the community, the projects and activities within the server inspiring and building upon the work of the artists involved.

This month, the exchange window for The Currency closed, and HENI followed along as collectors made a final decision whether to keep the NFT or physical version of their The Currency Tender.

Another exciting event took place for HENI Art Club members, who were invited to an exclusive talk about the iconic late architect, designer, and artist Zaha Hadid at her former architectural office in London.

HENI Discord Infographic

HENI Discord Infographic

August

August was a big month for collectors of Damien Hirst's 'The Empresses'. The period began in which holders of the innovative HENI Editions NFT Deed versions of 'The Empresses' could exchange their NFT Deed for a stunning physical print of the work.

Detail of H10-1 Wu Zeitan, The Empresses, Damien Hirst, 2022

Detail of H10-1 Wu Zeitan, The Empresses, Damien Hirst, 2022

September

Autumn ushered in some of the most exciting events of the year at HENI, particularly surrounding Damien Hirst's The Currency. HENI opened the exhibition for this iconic project at Newport Street Gallery on 23 September, displaying all 10,000 works from The Currency before the burning period started.

Before the exhibition officially opened to the public, however, HENI held an exclusive preview for holders of The Currency NFT. Alongside the exhibition, HENI also opened The Pharmacy Café at Newport Street Gallery, exclusive to HENI community members, where they could enjoy refreshments and submit their thoughts on the exhibition.

In September HENI introduced the HAT, or HENI Attendance Token, a new type of digital attendance token serving as a collectible memento for all kinds of HENI events. For example, visitors of The Pharmacy were able to claim a HENI Attendance Token (HAT) to mark the occasion, but also digital attendees of HENI Art Club events are able to receive the HATs.

To coincide with the exhibition, HENI Editions released a series of 1,000 Unique Prints showing close-up details from The Currency artworks, shot in extremely high resolution to offer a completely new perspective on the works.

Rounding off this month of exciting events, HENI Publishing released The Currency: Chronicles Vol. 1, the first in a series of works chronicling Damien Hirst's The Currency project. This first volume features a detailed summary of the background and production of the project, as well as more than 150 reflections from members of HENI's The Currency Discord community.

The Currency Exhibition Burn Room at Newport Street Gallery

The Currency Exhibition Burn Room at Newport Street Gallery

October

The excitement surrounding The Currency continued into October with the launch of The Currency online merchandise shop, making our exclusive, custom-designed, The Currency-inspired merchandise available for remote purchase.

HENI also celebrated The Currency exhibition and one year of the project with the Connect the Dots party, a private gathering of The Currency collectors from all over the world held at The Pharmacy Café at Newport Street Gallery.

On October 11, Damien Hirst started the burning process of The Currency by burning the 1,000 physical paintings that he personally kept as digital artworks. At the end of the month NFT holders were granted the opportunity to watch the burning of the physical version of their own digital artwork in-person at Newport Street Gallery, also receiving a HAT for the event.

HENI Talks released the first in a series of exclusive screenings of art and architecture documentaries by filmmaker Michael Blackwood, American Art in the 60s, featuring interviews and footage of iconic figures such as Andy Warhol and Helen Frankenthaler. To coincide with the screening, HENI Art Club hosted a talk by art historian Dr. Stephen Moonie that used Blackwood's film to explore the art of this revolutionary era.

Connect the Dots Community Party

Connect the Dots Community Party

November

HENI's digital presence received a makeover in November, with the release of exciting new features and platforms. Both the HENI homepage and the HENI Editions site got upgrades, with streamlined, intuitive designs and new interactive features that improve the user experience.

HENI Primary launched, designed specifically for artists to release original works of art on a dedicated digital platform, bringing the traditional fine-art experience online.

Damien Hirst's 'Paper Veils' were the first works to be released on the new HENI Primary platform, a series of original paintings on paper available for purchase by application.

HENI Art Club, meanwhile, hosted an exclusive talk with renowned art critic and author Martin Grayford on his new book Love Lucian: The Letters of Lucian Freud 1939-1954.

HENI Publishing also released two exciting new titles: Nesma Shubber's Suad al-Attar, the most comprehensive published collection of work by the title artist; and On the Street, a collection of 101 essays and personal recollections by legendary Financial Times architecture and design critic Edwin Heathcote.

Paper Veils, Damien Hirst, 2019

Paper Veils, Damien Hirst, 2019

December

The year ended on a high note with the release of more insightful art historical resources for the HENI community in December. Art historian and critic James Hall enlightened HENI Art Club members on the history of the legendary artist's studio, from Ancient Greece up to today. On HENI Talks, the second of our featured Michael Blackwood documentaries, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, became available to view, offering a humour-filled portrait of this daring husband-and-wife artistic duo.

In December HENI also launched a collection of new The Currency wearable merchandise, exclusively available for purchase by holders of The Currency NFTs. Including new t-shirts and sweaters, these collectible items made the perfect holiday gifts for fans of The Currency.

James Hall: The Artist's studio HAT

James Hall: The Artist's studio HAT