From Mumbai to Bridgehampton, the reactions from the Hirst exhibitions have been revealing–and positive. The Indian press is getting its first taste of Hirst–though not any of the formaldehyde bulls:
Death, decay, religion and life – 14 examples of the favoured themes of British artist Damien Hirst left the audience stunned as global auctioneer Sotheby’s unveiled them here.It was an eye-opener for most of those who thronged to the preview Wednesday evening. The reaction ranged from gasps, amazement, downright, appreciation, a slight revulsion to ecstasy.
The hideously beautiful works mostly captured death and its symbols – glorifying them, beautifying them, and almost giving them a virtuous quality with the larger-than-life manifestations of man’s most subliminal fear.
Out on the East End of Long Island, art world insiders are upbeat. Here’s Sandy Heller, most famous for advising Steven Cohen who owns–and refurbished–the original shark quoted by Kate Taylor in the New York Sun:
“I think Sotheby’s is very in touch with Damien’s market. They know how big it is and how broad it is, and it’s not necessarily all reached by his primary dealers.”
(. . .)
“I still advise to buy Damien Hirst — I think he’s one of the greatest artists alive, period,” Mr. Heller said. “The issue really becomes more about what should you pay for a Damien Hirst. If I’m looking at a catalog with 40 butterfly paintings, maybe I shouldn’t pay $2 million [for one]; maybe I should only pay one million.”
Mr. Heller said he predicted that the sale would be very successful. “I’m interested in maybe five pieces, maybe 10 pieces,” he said. “And I’m just one guy. If you’ve got a community of 500 people who are getting these catalogs, and they have that same attitude, then I tell you this is going to be pretty good.”
Stunning Art by Damien Hirst Mixes Beauty and Death (Thaindian.com)
Hirst in the Hamptons (NY Sun)