Business Artist Damien Hirst

The Damien Hirst circus is over and was a great success. The first night of the Hirst auction raised about 70 million pounds and the second day raised 40,919,700 GBP, which works out to be about $200 million USD in 2 days.

I don’t care what we think of his art.. love it or hate it.. Damien Hirst is a genius! He makes Andy Warhol look like a hippy with no job or credit card.

Warhol said “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” If Andy was right, Damien Hirst is the greatest artist of all time as he is without doubt the best business artist alive.

Damien Hirst Auction at Sothebys
I usually only get 15 or 20 people each day looking for “Hirst” on Art News Blog, but on the 16th of September there were 515 people searching for the British artist. Quite a few searched for “Hurst” too. There was even a few people looking for Damien Hearst.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Donald Frazell says:

    Good for you ‘business” too, eh Dion? It was interesting, revealed much about the stratifictaion of economic classes. Their interests, the rich needs to be amused and love of absurdity. Gotta respect Hirst, i guess. Or, maybe not. He WAS a willing puppet before, now may have entered the ranks of the top economic echelon, he is beyond us now.

    He will have his footnote in history books of the next century, and for that gained a kind of immortality. Congrats son. Now, can we all get over this and move on to somethng really intersting? And like, important?

  2. It didnt make any difference to my business Donald. Art News Blog makes veeeeeery little.

    I think you’ll like the subject of my next post though. It doesn’t mention Damien Hirst and it’s a subject that’s hard to criticize. You’ll see what I mean. I need to get some sleep now though.

  3. Donald Frazell says:

    Good night down under, but if there is little to criticize, what am I going to do? gotta keep my scroogish image going. After all, Image IS everything. Apparently.

  4. The most expensive work sold was “The Golden Calf..”

    you…know..the around the golden calf…

    Even the most die hard critics of Hirst have got to admit there’s art in staging a thing like that!

    I think he is really making a point about control and autonomy of the artist.

  5. Donald Frazell says:

    Apparently his works had not been selly briskly, and didnt do well in India. But he did a magnificent job creating an Event. I think many rich just wanted to be apart of it, have conversation pieces as people entered their houses.

    Though, like a certain Presidential candidate, they may have too many to count, and have it get lost somewhere alolng the way. Getty never lived or even visited the Roman Villa he had constructed in Malibu, and filled with works he bought from the Hellenic and Roman worlds.

    How much of this is Hirst, and how much Saatchi? They actually created him, are they still involved in his merchandising? They created a brand, and he simply fills the orders. Marketing.
    Imperial Clothing


  6. Art dealers have a large part to play. They can make and break an artist. If Saachi buys all your work you might jump for joy if you’re a student and need the money/ recognition; if you become established the same art dealer can sell all your work and saturate the market when you least expect it. They can set the price of your work and you won’t see the money.

    I don’t think Hirst has too much to worry about though he’s been on to the marketing thing ever since the Freeze exhibition in 1988.

  7. I bet Saatchi wishes he could afford to buy all of Hirst’s work now Helly!

    Hirst has placed himself above (dominant) collectors and galleries. He can probably afford to buy Sotheby’s now!

    If he lists himself on the stock exchange I’m buying in as he’s a money making machine. Wouldn’t that be strange?.. an artist listing himself on the stock exchange. He would have been one of the few stocks in the world to rise earlier this week.

  8. Donald Frazell says:

    Vollard made a fortune when he went into Cezannes studio and bought everything in it for cheap. Artist just want to paint, luckily, Cezanne had the money from his father to paint coninuously, even when on a strict diet before his death. Considering he reinvented painting, I guess he needed it.

    As Schuckin or Morozov said at the turn of the last century, good paintings are cheap. Probably still are as crap costs the fortune that will leave one broke on their deathbed, as most who collected Gerome and Meisonnier did back then.

    Lesson? The same as all good investors know. Buy low, sell high. Hirst is so damn high, I wanna know what hes smokin.

    Art Collegia Delenda Est

  9. That reminds me Donald, the Sydney gallery over near me just bought their first decent Cezanne painting. I should get down there and see it ;-)

  10. Donald Frazell says:

    I like it, unlike that other one from his youth your boy Freud was supposedly inspired by. Never seen it reproduced before, sorta like one i copied of Mt St Victorie from Bibemus Quarry, same handling of the trees and sky.

    Its a “minor” work but successful and very solid. There are two of his, slightly stronger, I go to see everytime I am at LACMA, which has a weak, if varied collection. His Bowl of Cherries painting is better, more complex in structure, as he was the first to ever actually build a painting, something that appeals to me greatly, as how you build a piece of music, real music, not pop. Which has the same pattern over and over. Reassuring to the masses, you know that opium thing. Though Hemingway thought it might be bread. It was to the Romans.

    Anyway, been writing some at myartspace as they have you linked. Had an article about a nodal point in time from another site, they guy deleted me when I refuted most of his points. I had saved it, figuring it would be deleted, artistes are so sensitive outside of Australia, and forwarded it to mas, I am going to rewrite it as an update since Imperial Clothing, interested?


  11. Yeah, it’s not the best Cezanne painting, but it’s still something to get excited about. It’s the best one we have in any public collection in Australia. It’s from a time when he was in complete control of the brush, so it could be a picture of toilet paper and would still be a masterpiece.

    I would love to have some of his still lifes within driving distance of here.

    Actually I just had a look at the Cezannes at LACMA. What’s the go with that plate of cherries? The cherries plate is propped up and the peaches plate isnt, which gives it a funny look. After a certain period he’s hard to criticize though (except for his hideous bathers, but even they would be masterpieces if they were cut up and used

    And sure, feel free to email your latest article. Whether I agree with it or not doesnt really matter, just as long as I don’t end up in court because of it! Ideas and opinions don’t scare me, it’s people that stop thinking which scare me.

  12. Donald Frazell says:

    All is one, made of the same, but formed in ways that have a purpose we give to it, derived from what is real. not just perceived. Thats why Cezanne was so influential to modern art, he created forms, not interested in appearances, which are a deception cause by monocular vision. But the things themselves now brought forward to the picture plane. And into the space we dwell in. They have presence, life.

    This set up cubism, and even expressionism. The colors and forms are what count, how passion is communicated, the rhythms of the lines and forms and colors and the many relationships created. Music. You can view it and its always fresh, the layering of planes always changing, shifting, playing off of one another. Its all about relationships.

    We need to relearn this, and get back to livng with one another and nature.Not as something separate, but as a part of all. Art. Purpose, God.

    And no whining allowed

  13. Anonymous says:

    I agree he is Genius.

    From the day I read his book: On the Way to Work. I have been amazed at his artistic ability to not only shock but to change ideas on what art is and can be.

    Can we all today hold our own auction, yes we can and we might sell and raise a few thousand. But the idea is nothing has ever stopped us from doing so, only ourselves.-


  1. [...] love and hate Damien Hirst in equal portions. I love the marketing genius that the man is, but I also dislike him for similar reasons as he has made art all about business. [...]

  2. [...] wasn’t going to mention Damien Hirst again for at least a few months after the Hirst/Sotheby’s auction and the hype that [...]

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