Over at The Independent Newspaper Julian Spalding urges people to Sell while you can. That is the stark warning from a senior museum figure to anyone who has bought an artwork by Damien Hirst, the self-styled enfant terrible of British art.
Writing in the Opinion pages of today’s Independent, Julian Spalding, who has headed some of Britain’s foremost public galleries, predicts the bubble will soon burst for Hirst and fellow exponents of what he calls “con art” – a play on the term “conceptual art”, the so-called art of ideas. He likens this bubble in the art world to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. It will crash, he says, when collectors realise how “seriously worthless” conceptual art is.
Read the rest of this article over at The Independent.
Both the Tate and Science, Hirst’s company, declined to comment.
Timeline: how the Damien Hirst phenomenon unfolded
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, commissioned by Charles Saatchi for £50,000, comprising a shark pickled in formaldehyde, goes on display. Sells in 2005 for £6-7m.
The spot painting Adrenochrome Semicarbazone Sulfonate, 1992, sells for £32,200 at Christie’s, as part of the artist’s first successful sale at auction.
Christie’s sets a world record price for Damien Hirst at auction by selling his medicine cabinet, God, for £188,500.
Hymn, a huge sculptural rendering of a human anatomical model created in 1996, is purchased by Charles Saatchi for £1m.
Sculpture Away from the Flock sells for £1.8m, beating his previous record of £1.2m. Massimo Lauro, the Italian shipping magnate, bought the work in 1996 for a reported £40,000.
Hirst set the record at Sotheby’s – £9.65m for Lullaby Spring, a medicine cabinet – for a work by a living artist. For the Love of God, a skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds, is sold for £50m.
Hirst becomes first artist to sell a complete body of work, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever. The 223 items reach a £111m, including £10.3m for The Golden Calf, in formaldehyde.
Total sales for Hirst works fall from £170m in 2008 to £12m in 2009. Hirst said he was optimistic prices would recover and by 2011 another of his 1,400 spot paintings sells for £1.8m.