Damien Hirst Turns Drake's Certified Lover Boy cover art into a collection of free NFTs

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Drake and Damien Hirst stand in front of one of Hirst's studies of cherry blossoms. (Champagne Papi/ Instagram)
Drake and Damien Hirst stand in front of one of Hirst's studies of cherry blossoms. (Champagne Papi/ Instagram)
  • Drake commissioned British artist Damien Hirst to make the cover for his sixth studio album, Certified Lover Boy
  • Considering the success of Drake’s Certified Lover Boy, Damien Hirst recently turned it into 10000 NFTs. 
  • Titled Great Expectations, these NFTs are unfortunately not for sale to the public.


On 31 August 2021, Canadian rap crooner Drake publicised the cover art for his now released album Certified Lover Boy

Made by Damien Hirst, an English conceptual artist  and the United Kingdom’s richest living artist, the work shows a dozen pregnant emojis, across the emoji skin colour-wheel, embracing their expectant bellies. 

The work blends two existing Hirst works: The Virgin Mother and Spot Paintings

In 2005 Hirst debuted The Virgin Mother, a gold, silver, and bronze, 206cm long sculpture. Installed in the courtyard of Lever House  New York, outside London’s Royal Academy, and then on Fontvieille Harbour, Monaco, The Virgin Mary sees a naked woman embracing her belly. 

Simply put, Hirst’s Spot Paintings are multi-coloured spots painted on white backgrounds. Painted from 1986 to 2012, the works are Hirst’s attempt at painting as a machine. Spanning a 26 year period, the artist has now painted thousands of spots. 

Considering how well Drake’s Certified Lover Boy did and the new enthusiasts the work garnered for Hirst, the artist recently announced that he is turning the cover art into 10 000 non-fungible tokens (NFT). 

Titled Great Expectations, these NFTs are unfortunately not for sale to the public. “Everything done well is art. With Drake’s support and blessing, I’ve created this free Thanksgiving gift for all Currency NFT holders; it’s loosely based on the album cover I made for Drake,” Hirst explained using a Twitter thread.

The aforementioned Currency collection was Hirst’s first attempt at minting NFTs. Comprising 10000 NFTs, each token in the collection corresponds with one of Hirst’s unique physical artworks. These were available for purchase from 14 to 21 July for $2000 each. After purchasing an NFT, its buyer will be given one year to decide whether they want to keep the NFT or exchange it for the physical artwork that it is based on. Depending on which one the buyer decides to keep, the other will be destroyed. 

Existing on the same grid as the Certified Lover Boy emojis, here Hirst changed the style of the expectant. From varying colour palettes, backgrounds, hair types and accessories, no two NFTs are the same. “Like all great art, it looks easy. We worked hard on this. We wanted it to be pop, high and low art, it had to be ironic while remaining iconic, it had to be optimistic and hopeful, international, a thing of beauty that everyone and anyone could relate to and understand, and it absolutely had to be something that looks amazing on your phone,” Hirst’s thread continued. 

It’s only been days since Hirst offered collectors NFTs from Great Expectations collection. Yet, many of them have already considered putting them on the secondary market for a reasonable amount of cash. The income won’t be too bad considering how the cheapest NFT from the collection costs $4500. 

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