Hi, everyone! It's been a busy summer; how was yours? My studio's a mess . . . canvases taking up too much space with paintings in different stages of completion (sigh). Wish I had more time. I know it's been a while since I blogged, but I'm still here, even though it seems I've dropped off the earth. However, today is about Mr. Damien Hirst. An even richer Damien Hirst.
Damien Hirst did it again! $$$ in millions rolled in . . . proving that there are art buyers with free cash even in the current economic gloom overtaking the global financial markets.
Famous for embalming animals in formaldehyde, British artist Damien Hirst sets a record-- fetching a cool $198 million (Cdn.) Tuesday after an unprecedented two-day, 223-lot sale of his work at Sotheby's auction house in London. Sotheby's said the record was also smashed for a sale dedicated to one artist, surpassing the $20 million for 88 works by Pablo Picasso held in 1993.
Sotheby's auction, entitled Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, broke new ground in which a major contemporary artist has for the first time offered a large body of work direct to the public by auction, bypassing the dealers and galleries, who can charge commission of up to 50 percent of the sale prices.
The first day of the sale on Monday, September 15, 2008, brought in $125 million (Cdn.), which included The Golden Calf for $19.7 million (Cdn.). The Golden Calf is a real calf,embellished with 18-carat gold horns and hooves and a gold disc on its head, contained in a gold-plated tank of formaldehyde set on a Carrara marble plinth. There was also a 2.4-metre tiger shark in formaldehyde in a black-framed tank, The Kingdom, sold for $18.5 million (Cdn.) with fees.
On Tuesday, September 16, 2008, The Dream was sold for $4.4 million (Cdn.) The Dream is a foal in formaldehyde inside a steel and glass tank. A butterfly piece called Reincarnated sold for $2.8 million, more than twice its top pre-sale estimate.
Beautiful Maat Intense Fetishistic Painting (with Extra Inner Beauty)--with a pre-sale price estimate between $573,000 to $764,000--sold for $918,640 (Cdn.)
The Rose Window, Durham Cathedral--with a pre-sale price estimate between $1.33M to $1.72M--sold for $2.4 million (Cdn.).
A coloured-spot Hirst work, Aurothiglucose--with a pre-sale price estimate between $1.33M to $1.72M--sold for 1.27 million (Cdn.).
Damien Hirst, already one of the best-selling contemporary artists in the world, continues to redefine; and the unconventional Sotheby auction with its 11-day pre-sale exhibition which attracted some 21,000 visitors clearly paid off big-time.
Last year Hirst, who works with a team of about 200 assistants, unveiled the artwork For the Love of God at London's White Cube gallery. This Hirst piece, thought to be the world's most expensive piece of contemporary art, is a human skull encased in a layer of platinum and encrusted with 8,601 diamonds, sold later in a private transaction for about $89 million. For the Love of God will be exhibited at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum for six weeks starting on November 1 before it embarks on a world tour.
Take a look at this video "Damien Hirst's Auction Gamble" by WSJDigitalNetwork:
Visit a blog post at daily Qi about the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) re-opening, with a video media tour of the revitalized AGO and Frank Gehry's architecture.
Here's a look at some other videos with my posts:
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England & video
Pablo Picasso & video
Monet's Garden at Giverny & video
Vincent van Gogh Said ... & video
Robert Motherwell Bio & video
Major Cézanne Exhibit & video