Damien Hirst Making Auction Records As Wall Street Experiences Worst Losses Since 2001

16Sep08

By Emily Waldorf

For better or worse, the art market continues to defy expectations in the face of a dramatically declining economy.  Damien Hirst’s groundbreaking Sotheby’s “artist direct to auction” sale beat expectations, with many lots exceeding their high estimates.  His famous shark sold for $17.2 million and his golden calf for a mind boggling $18.6 million. Bloomberg.com cited London dealer Ivor Braka on the wildly successful sale:  “At a time when other markets are reeling and the press are writing cynical and damning reports, the people with the free cash and the will have ignored the storm warnings and the voyage goes on.”

Is this the end of an era for blue chip galleries that represent mega-watt contemporary artists such as Hirst?  Or is Hirst an untouchable cultural phenomenon that can’t be imitated?  What do ArtsÉtoile readers think is next for the art market?

Auction results

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