Damien Hirst Auction

Damien Hirst may have a pile of unsold artworks sitting in a gallery and Robert Hughes may think his work is “tacky,” but there’s still plenty of rich collectors willing to bet their millions on the British artist. Financial crisis and all, Hirst still sets records.

The 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 Sotheby’s.

Traditional galleries of major artists worldwide must be feeling a little nervous after the Hirst auction success. Very few artists could pull off something as grand as Damien Hirst, but I don’t think we have seen the last of artists dealing directly with auction houses.

Here’s a few lots from the Hirst auction..

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
Sotheby’s Estimate
£ 4,000,000 – 6,000,000
€ 5,060,000-7,590,000
US$ 7,900,000-11,850,000
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium: 9,561,250 GBP

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
Sotheby’s Estimate
£ 8,000,000-12,000,000
€ 10,120,000-15,180,000
US$ 15,800,000-23,690,000
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium: 10,345,250 GBP

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
Sotheby’s Estimate
£ 400,000-600,000
€ 510,000-760,000
US$ 790,000-1,190,000
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium: 668,450 GBP

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. More millions for some poor dull old dead fish. Now I know I’ve mentioned the work of Nicola Slattery before but really if you want an exciting fish image you should take a look at her painting “Riding the Fish Home”.

    It’s part of the “City After Hours” exhibition at the RONA Gallery in the heart of Mayfair, London. All those poor city finance people need cheering up a bit right now and would get a much needed boost from seeing this exhibition.

    It is hoped the Mayor of London might attend and maybe get some inspiration for a whole new transport policy for London.

    Hirsts fish just sits there looking dead but Slattery’s helpful fish gives you a great ride home. If had a few quid to spare I know which I’d rather be sharing my life with.

    Fish are friends! They don’t belong in Formaldehyde.

    PS. Tried to add link to Slattery’s site so you can see for yourself.

  2. That comment is close to outright promotion Earl :-P

    What ever happened to subtlety?

  3. Donald Frazell says:

    I dont know what to say, another sign of the Apocalypse? Paul Klee had the best fish paintings, as well as cat and bird paitings, though Max Ernst had some interesting birds. And George
    braques were the absolute most beautiful.

    But pickled fish belong in Natural History Museums. And still decay overtime. And damn! Your boy Robert Hughes stole my pickled fish line, has he been plagiaraizing me? Or jUst so damn obvious to all those outside of todays contemporary art market?

    Amazing. PETA messed up, where are they when you finally need them?

    Art collegia delenda est

  4. Hirst is doing nothing new with these works. Science centers have long displayed thing in the same way as a whole or sliced so that you can see the insides and all that jazz. The only dif’ is that he put a catchy title on it and called it art. There is a science museum in Chicago or St. Louis… can’t remember which… where you can observe the various stages of human life preserved. As in they have 1 inch strips of the human body on display preserved between sheets of protective glass. Reminds me of that scene in the Resident Evil movie.

  5. Donald Frazell says:

    The best “art” show i have seen in years was the traveling Plasticized man show, hear they have a new one coming this way, was in Kansas City for my uncles funeral six months ago and was there. Human bodies dried, fileted, opened to show their sinews, nerves, lymphatic system, and artifical veins and arteries as organs and blood cant be done. Each example different to show the layering of muscles, tendons bones. Beautiful, though the lungs were often disgusting, most were old folks who died, donated, and had smoked alot. One young man posed as a basketball player, sadly a pregnant woman with fetus, who had died in a car accident, and ahorse, taht was incredible. Far more relevant than Contemporary Art, and better drawn. Why the hell can no one draw anymore? Can only do photorealism, but completely lackng in style with being anatomically suggestive.

  6. Drawings don’t make much money Donald. It’s all about money today. Why produce something if you can’t sell it for the price of a new car??..lol

    You would probably love Dr Gunther von Hagens Donald. It disgusted me at first, but after getting over the shock of watching one guy chop up another, it becomes quite fascinating.

  7. Donald Frazell says:

    Is this the same guy? Did he dry out and “plasticize” the muscle, arranging the body to demonstrate its movement, functions and structure? If he made you think outside of yourself, well, now THATS art.

  8. I’m not sure if it’s the same guy. I would like to see the show you mentioned though. Sounds fascinating.

  9. Donald Frazell says:

    Yeah, thats the guy, knew he was German, plastination. It was actually beautiful, seing how the body is built, the systems and how they intertwine to eventually build a life form. Just how art is supposed to do it, used to, but gave up as too difficult I guess. Art has “evolved” past that. LOL!

    Plus, I am eating meat no matter what. Mostly chicken and Turkey, too many additives in red meats, but a good slab of steak or nicely marinated ribs are wonderful. Been banned from swine, my sweetie still got that Islam thing in her, she cant stand the thought.

    We are omnivores, and unhealthy if we dont eat some meat. Vegetarians love to claim they are healthy, but all the ones I see always skinny, bad hair and skin, and often ill. In denial though. If you got a cook, or have the time to prepared meals, you can possibly get all the combinations needed to be healthy, all the proteins and amino acids necessary for growth, but very difficult.

    To make children be vegetarians is a crime, they need animal proteins and fats to grow, our brains are over 90% fat, and theirs are still growing. Taking it away hurts their development. Luckily, few artistes have the toughness and sacrifice to be parents. A ballanced diet people, and that includes animal flesh.

    Outside of Bill Walton, cant think of any athletes who are, or were, though he did temporarily convince a few. But had the money to get the proper diet. he was plagued by bad feet though, hmmm.

    I will kill a chicken, a turkey, and maybe that damn noisey, nasty, arrogant squirrel out back. They are rodents after all, just with “cute” tails. Humans need to stop watching Disney movies and anthropomorphising animals. They ain’t us. When we start treating humans with the respect they deserve, I will stop eating critters.

    Though i do have quite a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as I tend to my garden. I am way healthier than all those scrawny healthnuts over at Whole Foods. And my wife makes incredibly delicious turkey burgers and meatloaf, my fresh basil helps.

  10. I still chomp on bacon if it is given to me, but funnily enough, since Turkey (the country Turkiye), I eat very little pig.

    One of my issues I have with any meat is that we have put it in cotton wool, so people are eating it everyday, sometimes up to 3 times a day. If we had to kill and prepare the animals ourselves meat consumption would go down dramatically.

    If 6 billion people started eating meat everyday like western countries do we’d be in trouble. I dont think we have to become vegetarians, but we also dont have to eat meat everyday.

    If I had to kill a cow, or even a chicken, I would be a vegetarian. I hope to eventually live on the land and have my own little sustainable property, so who knows, maybe I could become an animal killing meat lover.. I doubt it though. I would probably give my chickens and cows names and treat them like pets!..lol.

    Oh, and I don’t think humans deserve respect Donald. We’re a disease killing our host. Nothing to respect here people, move along. We’ll look like Mars in no time the way we’re going.

  11. Donald Frazell says:

    Nature is much stronger than we are. It is all about adaptation, if we can’t anymore,we are in trouble. We have proven to be quite adapt at that, including changing our environment to suit or tastes, not always advisable. If we can, then it will be OK in the long run. Not the long run of billions of years til the sun expands and consumes us, but for the foreseeable future.

    In spite of my seeming grumpiness, it IS because I know we can do better, I rather like people. And as I have kids, its kinda important that we survive. I want to spoil grandkids someday, and tease my lovely brats as they are given hell. I love revenge.

    So I am rather passionate about things. By the way, missed all the business with anon in the last Hirst thread, what was up with that? I LOVe a good debate, the rougher the better. I must have been a native New Yorker in a past life, still love that crazy city. It has the best and worst of humanity. Usually all at once.

    And I do know humanity can do great things, once it has to, just been too soft and decadent for awhile, gotta get off our flabby asses. Getting a waist line myself, by no way in hell am I ever gonna let my waist be bigger than my inseam, would even become a vegetarian to stop that one.

  12. Yeah, I havent lost hope in the human race either Donald. As retarded as I think we are, I still love us..lol. We’re a fascinating bunch.

    I think it’s getting harder for us to adapt and change as we’re so arrogant. Combine arrogance with stunting systems like religion, a retarded government, and schools that create dosile worker bees and you have a species that isn’t very quick to adapt to change. Everything about society and culture teaches us to be one of the pack. Independent thinking is almost a crime.

    I deleted my comment on the earlier Hirst thread too as I got personal and called someone an ass. I can’t remember what the guy said, but he wasnt nice. I think it was just a kid looking for a reaction.

    I encourage debate and criticism, but there’s a right way and wrong way. I have to respect the fact that not everyone likes filthy language.

    I’ll sometimes argue a point that I don’t even believe in, just to see how the person reacts, so I would be a hypocrite to delete comments just because they were a little argumentative. Challenging peoples beliefs can be a great way to get to know who the person really is. They forget the society mask for a minute and just react honestly. It can be very revealing.

  13. If someone has to use vulgarity several times just to make a point they should probably rethink their approach. It is all about tact. I often reject comments that involve excessive vulgarity. Not always… but it seems the people who do are just trying to start flame wars rather than honest debate. In person you can say whatever you want in order to make a point, but as far as the blog is concerned I think people need to be more responsible in the way they come off. I guess you could say that community standards plays a role as well. The majority of the comments left on the Myartspace Blog do not involve such words. If they did I suppose I would have to consider taking a ‘everything goes’ approach to moderation.

  14. Donald Frazell says:

    Written and spoken languages are very different. Swearing adn using image raising words in speech isw very different than in prose. Where sexuality adn anger can be insinuated in much different way. Which is how I taught my kids about rap, songs are written language spoken, in verse. When current songs visualize sex it is jsut tacky, not sexy at all, whereas in the old days of RandB and blues, it was impled, often strongly, just a visualizing as now, but much more potent. And could be used to evoke passions beyond just the physical. Art.

    But a wellplaced profanity in print can be quite good, just used judiciously, just like the words we use writing are certainly not teh same we use orally, or one is a rather precious arrogant SOB. William F Buckley


  15. I appreciate his bravado, but I still can’t figure out how Hirst’s formaldehyde-based works crossed the line from taxidermy to modern art…

  16. Donald Frazell says:

    Please dont call this exhibitonism of decadence Modern Art, that died from lack of capable artists long ago. Its Contmporary, or post Modern. dont malign and deflate theeh hard workd of othesr by calling them in the same breath Modern.

  17. I think Damien Hirst knows what he’s doing. In the end he’s going to cut out the auction houses…he just needs to establish more customers.

  18. Donald Frazell says:

    The end is here. That was just the orgy before the fire. Rome is burning. And Nero strums his harp.

  19. Worth as much as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. By turning death into art Hirst makes death –not graphically violent or thrilling death — just plain Jane regular death a subject that people will view and ponder. Our society hides from that. Hirst gives a good show and is treated as a rock star.
    Artists who know how to get their names known, whether by antics, shock value or through PR, including charity and society events are making more money. Plus, Hirst whatever anyone thinks, he is very innovative in his use of technology and materials, leveraging money (diamonds, gold) to make more money.


  1. [...] Damien Hirst has a personal fortune of around £200 million and is capable of pulling off his own $200 million auction, but he thinks art is too expensive. He spoke the Independent and said “I think it’s [...]

  2. Power 100 says:

    [...] Damien Hirst and his marketing/manufacturing company have reclaimed the number one position on the ArtReview list after a very successful year. [...]

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