The art world is currently buzzing about one of the biggest and least publicised shows of the year. Bucking the tradition of going through galleries, Damien Hirst, he of the diamond encrusted skull, has decided to put his new works up for sale through Sotheby's. Over 200 works will be going under the hammer Monday and Tuesday, but until then Sotheby's is hosting the biggest ever Hirst show.
The works are mostly more of what Hirst has become famous for: Lots of spot paintings, butterfly paintings ranging from simple, monochromatic canvases to massive executions shaped and arranged like cathedral windows, found medical objects, spin art (featuring skulls known as "Extra Inner Beauty"), and, of course, animals in formaldehyde.
Hirst is now arguably the richest artist alive, but for all of the money he's making, a lot of it is going back into his art. Diamonds and gold are big in this show: Wall panel cases feature nothing but rows of (manufactured) diamonds; diamonds are affixed to canvases along with butterflies and razor blades; one spot painting is done in gold leaf only to be painted over completely in white. Animals in tanks are getting the Midas touch as well. One pony was turned into a unicorn, a black ram got one gold horn, a calf was given gold hooves, and an enormous bull was given gold hooves, gold horns, and a gold halo. It's work Hirst certainly couldn't have done without the aid of his own wealth.
If you fancy adding to your modern art collection, a Sotheby's rep would be happy to show you around the galleries (bargain items in the collection have an estimated value as low as £15,000 for the contents of an ashtray). But if a Damien Hirst poster is more in your budget, then you can enjoy the collection for free until Monday.
Photo by Amanda Farah.