Kenny Schachter is a big Damien Hirst fan but not so enamored of the new show in Venice. In his Artnet column, he does some back-of-the-envelope work on what show cost to make, who funded it and what the returns might be (though he does indulge in some Hirstian hype at the end):Continue Reading
Colin Gleadell reminds us that this week provides a gauge of the Hirst market as one of the works from the now-infamous Beautiful Inside My Head Forever sale is back on the block at Phillips on Wednesday.
As interest in Hirst’s Venice exhibition has broken in the press, the state of his market will come under further scrutiny:Continue Reading
By the end of a 10-minute battle, eight bidders had driven Frank Auerbach’s mesmerising Head of Gerda Boehm to £3,789,000 ($4,710,106), a record for the artist at auction (est. £300,000-500,000). In an interview with the New York Times in 1998 Bowie described the whole gamut of reactions that this work provoked when he looked at it, exclaiming “My God, yeah! I want to sound like that looks”. A portrait of the artist’s cousin, Head of Gerda Boehm was last exhibited at the Royal Academy in London when Bowie lent the work to Auerbach’s much-heralded retrospective in 2001.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Air Power became the most valuable work sold at the auction tonight when it was pursued by six bidders who pushed the final sale price to £7,093,000 ($8,817,308 ) after a 5-minute bidding battle, double the pre-sale high estimate (est. £2.5-3.5m).
A second work by Basquiat, Untitled, also dated 1984, sold for £2,389,000 ($2,969,766), against an estimate of £500,000-700,000.
Damien Hirst’s Beautiful, hallo, space-boy painting, created in collaboration with David Bowie when he visited Hirst’s studio in 1995, tripled its low estimate to sell for £785,000 ($975,834) (est. £250,000-350,000).
A second spin painting by Hirst, Beautiful, Shattering, Slashing, Violent, Pinky, Hacking, Sphincter Painting, also dated 1995, exceeded its pre-sale estimate to sell for £755,000 ($938,540) (est. £250,000-350,000).
Damien Hirst is stirring the pot in the UK press with the sort of the provocative quotes like the one below where he claims to get his inspiration now from his children’s art work. Meanwhile, Christie’s is making a stab at reviving the Hirst market later this week with three different Hirst works in the sale. One is a gimmicky spot painting that references Mickey Mouse but more seriously there are two works bought directly from White Cube that will provide a reference on whether the market still esteems some of the work that was once most admired:
“My 18-year-old came home one day and he’d made a huge mosquito out of plastic boxes and it had a straw for a point and wings made with string, so I took them to the foundry and had it cast in bronze, the same size. It’s not a massive effort to do that.”
Damien Hirst: I copy my children’s art (Telegraph)
The Art Newspaper’s Cristina Ruiz reveals that Damien Hirst’s Other Criteria will be issuing a catalogue of the entire spot series answering the long-asked question, how many are there really? And if we finally know the finite number of works in the series, will the spot market be able to recover after the lackluster worldwide show at Gagosian?
The publication of a catalogue listing all the spot paintings made by Damien Hirst since 1986 will reveal that there are around 1,400, according to Jason Beard, the director of Other Criteria, the artist’s publishing company, which has produced the book in conjunction with Gagosian Gallery. The majority of the works in the 1,000-page catalogue will be illustrated, and “every single spot painting made will be listed”, Beard says.
Collectors have long speculated about the number of spot canvases in circulation. “I’ve heard estimates ranging from 2,000 to 7,000,” says Harry Blain, co-founder of the gallery Blain/Southern. He believes that the publication will increase confidence in the series because it will allay fears that the paintings are much more numerous than they actually are. He says it will also show the series’ variety. “People often say the spot paintings are all the same, but they’re not—far from it. The catalogue will give an understanding of the many subsets within [the spot works].”
All the same, “people love buying things that are reproduced, and they love it when their own works are published, so [publications are] always good for the market”, says the New York dealer Christophe Van de Weghe.
Hirst Catalogue Tots Up to 1400 Spots (The Art Newspaper)