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A Quick Buck For Hirst

By Rob Last edited 150 months ago
A Quick Buck For Hirst

The Young British Art Phenomenon has come in for a lot of stick over the years.

Hirst, Emin and Turk et al have been accused of shallow shock tactics, cruelty to animals, and making themselves comfortable in the pocket of Charles Saatchi.

damien_hirst.jpgBut last week Damien Hirst manged to surprise everyone who thought the YBA fad has died a death years ago, by auctioning off the contents of his failed restaurant venture Pharmacy for a whopping £11.1 million.

It's difficult to argue with eleven million quid. Apparently the great British public still has a place in their hearts for the artistic upstarts of the Nineties.

Well they did...because now Sotheby's have admitted that some of the Pharmacy auction lots were "been specially made for the auction".

We're not told why, just that "It was made very clear in the catalogue what was in the restaurant and what was not. People were buying a piece of artwork by Damien Hirst and I think that was the most important factor here, not whether it had been in the restaurant."

Right. But if that "artwork" comes in the form of five glass ashtrays and they sell for just under £2,000, how can that be justified? That's not art, it's just a very expensive souvenir. A very expensive and 'fake' souvenir.

In the end it comes down to one fact. Objects were made simply so there were more lots to auction off, in order for people to make more money.

That noise you can hear is every person who has ever mocked the London art scene eagerly sharpening their knives. Thank you Damien.

Last Updated 29 October 2004