David Cronenberg, the Master of Body Horror Films, Is Selling His Passed Kidney Stones as an NFT

The project precedes the release of his newest film, about a performance artist who surgically removes his own organs in public.

David Cronenberg in Venice at the 76th Venice Film Festival in 2019. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

In the films of David Cronenberg, the body’s innards often find their way out. Wouldn’t you know it, the director’s newest crypto-art project adheres to a similar theme. 

Right now, Cronenberg is offering a picture of his recently passed kidney stones as a one-of-a-kind NFT. Available on the SuperRare platform, the starting bid for the artwork is 10 Ethereum, or roughly $30,000. If anyone makes an offer at that price or higher, they will kickstart a 24-hour auction for final ownership of the token. Cronenberg is even considering throwing in the actual stones.

In a recent post on an online forum for Cronenberg-heads, the filmmaker behind sci-fi flicks like Videodrome and The Fly explained how he came to see the collection of mineral deposits—passed through his person over the last two years—as objects with artistic potential.

“My doctor said: ‘You know, I would like to have your kidney stones so that we can do a chemical analysis and see if there’s something in your diet that has caused your body to create this,'” he recalled in the post, according to the Associated French Press. But the director declined, as the process that would have ruined them. 

“I think they’re too beautiful to be destroyed,” he said. “After all, this is pretty intimate, it comes from the inside of my body.


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The title of the NFT, Inner Beauty, references a quote from his 1988 film Dead Ringers about identical twin doctors, both gynecologists.

“I don’t understand why there are not beauty contests for the insides of bodies,” one of the twins says to other at one point. “Most beautiful spleen, best kidney.”

That the filmmaker would have an aesthetic interest in his deposits is unsurprising: barbed and bulbous—like chunks or coral or half-chewed nuts—they look like Cronenbergian creations. 

“I see in these kidney stones a luminous narrative generated by a group of my inner organs, a narrative as intimate as a person could imagine,” he wrote in an statement accompanying the NFT. “I think each stone presents a unique aesthetic of structure, color, and organic content that engages with the mystery of my essence, my reality, which is my body, inside and out.”

Inner Beauty is Cronenberg’s second NFT project after last year’s The Death of David Cronenberg, an eery one-minute video he produced with his daughter sold for roughly $75,000.

It also comes as the director is set to release his newest movie, Crimes of the Future. Starring, Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart, and Léa Seydoux, the trippy-looking film follows a performance artist who surgically—and publicly—removes from his own body strange new organs of unknown function. It’s set to hit theaters in June.

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