Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Damien Hirst and his dead things

LONDON - A sale of pickled sharks, butterfly paintings and other pieces by the provocative British artist has raised more than US$125 million - a record for an auction of works by a single artist. And there is more to come Tuesday.

In the first session at the packed Sotheby's auction house on Monday, "The Kingdom," a tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde, sold for $17 million. "The Golden Calf" - an embalmed calf with golden hooves and horns - fetched $18.5 million.

"Fragments of Paradise," a confection of stainless steel, glass and manufactured diamonds, sold for almost $9.4 million, five times its pre-sale estimate.

Two of Hirst's butterfly paintings were sold for charity, for a total of more than $2.9 million.

Sotheby's said Monday's total of $127 million smashed the $20 million record for a single artist set in 1993 for 88 works by Pablo Picasso.

Hirst took a risk by offering more than 200 pieces of new work through Sotheby's rather than a gallery. He said it was a more democratic way to sell art - and it also spared him a gallery's hefty commission. But if buyers had stayed away, Hirst's global brand would have been tarnished. (Jill Lawless, The Associated Press)

1 comment:

*bear said...