Damien Hirst Auction – Beautiful Inside my Head Forever

The much talked about Damien Hirst auction is coming up soon. I thought it was the 15th of this month, which is why I thought I would mention it now, but it’s the 15th of next month. The Sotheby’s London auction is called “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever” and will take place over two days on the 15th and 16th of September.

There will be 223 lots up for auction, with more than £65 million expected to be raised from the sale. They are new works by the artist, mostly from 2007 and 2008.

You could call it an auction retrospective as there seems to be pieces from most periods of Hirst’s career, but they were all produced in the last year or two. So I couldn’t work out if he was at a time in life where he needed to summarize and look back over his career or his bank manager was poking him with a stick. Just because old works sell well doesn’t mean an artist should keep producing them.

Damien Hirst says “After the success of the Pharmacy auction, I always felt I would like to do another auction. It’s a very democratic way to sell art and it feels like a natural evolution for contemporary art. Although there is risk involved, I embrace the challenge of selling my work in this way. I never want to stop working with my galleries. This is different. The world’s changing, ultimately I need to see where this road leads.”

Four of the works to be sold will benefit four charities chosen by Damien Hirst. The Demelza, Hospice Care for Children, Survival International, Strummerville and Kids Company will each have a Hirst work sold for their cause, with each of the works estimated to reach £400,000-600,000. The very successful RED auction that Hirst and Bono (U2) organized earlier this year has made a philanthropist out of the wealthy YBA.

Here’s some of the Damien Hirst lots that will go up for auction next month. The catalogue for the Beautiful Inside My Head Forever auction can be browsed online at Sotheby’s. I think you have to be logged in to view auction lots at Sotheby’s, but it’s free and easy to join.

The Dream by Damien Hirst

The Dream (lot 110, Morning Sale)
foal, glass, steel, resin, silicone and formaldehyde solution
231 by 332.6 by 138.1cm.
executed in 2008
£ 2,000,000-3,000,000
€ 2,530,000-3,800,000
US$ 3,950,000-5,930,000

The Kingdom by Damien Hirst

The Kingdom (lot 5, Evening sale)
tiger shark, glass, steel, silicone and formaldehyde
solution with steel plinth
214 by 383.6 by 141.8cm.
executed in 2008
£ 4,000,000 – 6,000,000
€ 5,060,000-7,590,000
US$ 7,900,000-11,850,000

The Golden Calf by Damien Hirst

The Golden Calf (lot 13, Evening Sale)
calf, 18 carat gold, glass, goldplated steel, silicone and
formaldehyde solution with Carrara marble plinth
398.9 by 350.5 by 167.6cm
executed in 2008
£ 8,000,000-12,000,000
€ 10,120,000-15,180,000
US$ 15,800,000-23,690,000

Spot Painting by Damien Hirst

Aurothioglucose (lot 7, Evening Sale)
household gloss and enamel
paint on canvas
172.7 by 274.3cm.
executed in 2008
£ 400,000-600,000
€ 510,000-760,000
US$ 790,000-1,190,000

Spin Painting by Damien Hirst

Beautiful Helios Hysteria Intense Painting
(with Extra Inner Beauty)
(lot 227, Afternoon Sale)
household gloss on canvas
diameter: 45.7cm.
executed in 2008
£ 60,000-80,000
€ 76,000-102,000
US$ 119,000-158,000

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. He’s trying to outdo Bill Gates.

    Our crazy tax system allows individuals to amass vast wealth that could buy a small country, while the poorest people starve.

    It’s not enough for the rich to be wealthy. They’ve got to be rich enough to become philanthropists. That proves they’ve really made it.

    Until that happens, the fat cats’ attitude is “Let them eat cake”. Heard that one before?

  2. Donald Frazell says:

    The English are among the richest in the world, the old rich who invested overseas decades ago. after all this time, the Brits still own more of America than any other group of foreigners. As with old money though, they keep a low profile, while hate groups go after Arabs and Chinese. When it is really the old fart rich brits we should hate. But its our own fault, selling off so much, which we should be developing and protecting ourselves. we got lazy.

    As far as Hirst, doing all his old pickled fish all over again, wont this piss off his original buyers, and lower values, as he is recreating over and over giant tanks that should be in Natural History museums? Which is where most pickled fish reside. For one hunredth the cost

    I do rather like the diamond skull however. But would be just as good with cubic Zirconia. Great for a Day of the Dead celebration here(a Mexican version of Halloween).
    His other stuff is oincredibly silly. Like the skull above that looks like it was created on one of those spining discs you drop paint on in third grade. Bet lots of kids come up with better color harmonies, thats prtty tacky.

  3. Yes Hirst has done a whole series of those spin paintings. His ones are giant though, compared to the onces children do at school.

    I suppose the spin paintings relay a sense of fun, which you could say was tacky. He’s then combined that sense of fun with an image representing death. Perhaps childhood innocence in the face of death is being conveyed?

    I haven’t seen Hirst’s mythological animals in tanks before, so I’m glad they’ve been bought to my attention. : )

  4. dfimagery says:

    The skull idea could be a decent one, but the execution sucks, and the colors clinical and lack in any kind of passion. But then, we wouldnt be talking about Damine Hirts then, would we? Showed my wife, she might try something like that for a local Day of the Dead competition, but as a great graphic designer, will come up with something much better. And totally her.

    The animals are cute, but being in the dulling fluid, will slowly decompose no matter what. Drying out, they will lose any kind of “charm”(damn English curse) and become the weird natural museum pieces they are.

    If i had bought previous works of the same thing, I would be pissed.

  5. I’d really like to see a piece in a major newspaper or art blog about “Interrupted Art” – think Mr. Hirst’s “Away from the Flock” incident.

    For inspiration check this little “interruption” out…


  6. Hirst’s habit making jokes from dead animals is terrible. I suppose to put his own mother or father in the glass box…

  7. Donald Frazell says:

    Call PETA. would love to video them busting in on the auction of dead ponies and calves. Perfect perfromance art.

  8. I’m surprised he hasnt been picked on more by the animal rights organizations. I think the sharks were caught and killed just for the sake of art (I could be wrong).

    Preserving an animal that died naturally is different to catching and killing one for the sake of art.

  9. Donald Frazell says:

    It was my wifes idea to tell PETA, not as if either of us were PETA members, definitely carnivores here, or as I tell vegans, we are all born as omniovores get overyourself. The best is, Hitler was a vegetarian and loved his pet canary. And she was laughing at your runner spoof all day. Have to show her the garbage video, we were going to go around and combine the postit and garbage video by writing one word reviews on postits, put them next to the “art” works, and photograph them for a book or just to torture the children. But our time is too valuable for wasting on nothing. Though far more charming and beautiful than I am, she is even more cynical. i love her.

    Back to Hirst, looked at the PETA website to think about writing them, would love to see a big ruckus at the auction, but no way I am going to give those crazies my email address, that Hitler thing you know. The calf and pony look mighty young and healthy, or were before pickled. Hmmmmm.

  10. The Damien Hirst glut has been mentioned on the blog elsewhere if you had bothered to look Anonymous. It’s on the front page actually, so it’s reaaally hard to find.

    Youre free to leave anytime you wish too. I’m not interested in pleasing anyone, especially people that hide behind the name “anonymous”

    So get back up on that high horse partner and gallop off into the sunset.

  11. His work isnt art, it’s Hype and that is exactly what people purchase. If Hirst defecated on stage someone from the art world would be naive enough to buy it. The fag butt exhibit looked as though it was put together in a drunken stupour. I prefer art that suggests endeavour and inspires wonder, not this over hyped nonsense.

  12. w to remove opinions, even if the one expressing them is hiding behind a pseudonym (even if it id “Anonymous”). I think the Hirst collection is derived by a mentally ill man. I would make analogies that his work could be similar to a pedophile painting porn art – is that the next stage of modern art? We’ve had naked men and women, and dead animal’s rotting flesh – we need to get sicker and more twisted!

  13. sorry _ I left my name out on the last blog, accidentally – I’m Abi Jenkins and I own a lot of contemporary art, so I do have a valid opinion – whether you agree with it or not. “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever” is an apt title.

  14. Nickname Unavailable, people can express any opinion they want on the blog as long as theyre civil. It’s comments that are rude, personally attack others, or use inappropriate language that are deleted.

    I don’t think your analogy works, but it’s your opinion and youre welcome to it. I don’t know what would bring you to the conclusion that he’s mentally ill either. He seems to be a reasonably well adjusted businessman that knows his market very well. He’s not my favorite artist but he’s one of my favorite businessmen.

  15. can art and business really mix? Making money and art in my opinion are at odds with one another. This is my point. Once an artist reaches a stage where literally ANYTHING he creates makes money, art doesnt become objectively judged anymore. I suggest that if I had put together Hirst’s exhibition (as an unknown artist) then it would have been forgotten – quickly. Maybe we should have a process where works of art submitted anonymously and then afterwards reveal who produced them. That way art wins on merit ;0)

  16. Personally I dont think art and business mix Smithart, but in reality art and business do mix.

    I have never heard of an artist that doesnt embrace business as theyre hiding in their studio waiting to be discovered (and they never will be discovered until they accept that art and business have to mix). It’s just the reality of the situation. We can romanticize art all we want, but artists still have to eat and pay the rent.

    The anonymous exhibition is a good idea too. There’s a charity auction somewhere that does something similar. Artists disguise their usual style and their works are sold anonymously.


  1. [...] first night of the much talked about Damien Hirst auction (Beautiful Inside my Head Forever) made about £70 million, which is 8 million pounds above the high estimate by [...]

  2. [...] Damien Hirst circus is over and was a great success. The first night of the Hirst auction raised about 70 million [...]

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