After poorly argued reports that the Hirst market had crashed–based solely on one painting in the Fall sales in New York–the eagle-eyed Colin Gleadell puts together this fact-based report on the state of Damien Hirst’s market. (Though any sensible market-watcher will see its limitations too.)
“Damien Hirst Sees Prices Slump,” read a headline on the Bloomberg News website on December 18. But, just 12 days later, in a candle-lit gallery in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier, an exhibition of Hirst’s spot prints and spin paintings opened to unanimous approval. Within days, all but five of the 22 works had been sold. Prices ranged from £10,000 to £250,000.
London dealer Gül Coskun launched the only gallery in the ski resort last year, and this was her first exhibition for Hirst. Buyers came from as far afield as Hong Kong, but most were Europeans who wanted something for their Alpine chalets.
“Since the Sotheby’s auction in September, more people than ever know about Hirst,” Coskun says.
Coskun’s quote is, of course, the crux of the matter. Hirst’s genius for publicity, especially the diamond-encrusted skull which may go down in history as his version of Andy Warhol’s quote about fame and the quarter hour (in our media culture it helps to have a tag line), still drives his market.
Art Market News (Telegraph)