Damien Hirst’s Garage Sale

September 15, 2008

Tomorrow (the 16th) is the major part of the auction of new works by Damien Hirst at Sotheby’s in London.  The auction, called “Beautiful Inside My Head For Ever“, essentially makes the auction house the artist’s gallery.  The art world is watching this experiment closely.  Tonight’s evening sale raised an incredible 70 million pounds (including more than 9 million pounds for The Kingdom, a shark in formaldahyde.)

I’ve written several times before how little I appreciate Hirst’s work and, after studying all of tomorrow’s 167 lots, my opinion has not changed.  I don’t appreciate the dead animals in formaldehyde, and I think that most of the butterfly works are mechanical.  I discovered four pieces that I like: lots 121, 136, 201 and 276.  And it has to be said that 136 and 201 in particular reveal the brilliant execution he has as a super-realist.