I wish I had owned a pill-cabinet…

dh2.jpgOne of the four built by Damien Hirst, that is. The one that just sold for $19.3 million at Sotheby’s in London, called “Lullaby Spring”. The previous owner had paid about $1,458,000 (730,000 pounds) in 2002 — not altogether shabby as far as investments go. No wonder Damien Hirst is the celebrated darling of dealers and auction houses, having just broken Jasper Johns’s record of being the world’s highest priced living artist.

This doesn’t make him the world’s best living artist, not by a far stretch. In fact, as Donald Kuspit (professor of art history and philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook and A.D. White professor at large at Cornell University) claimed at a talk titled “Art Values or Money values: An Analysis of Art Prices in 2006,” given at the New York Studio School on Feb. 22, 2007, “the irrational exuberance of the contemporary art market is about the breeding of money, not the fertility of art”. The commercial value of art has usurped its aesthetic, cognitive, emotional and moral value. If there are painters and sculptors etc. who have something worthwhile to say, their work won’t be found in the major auction houses and/or galleries. If you want to look at some meaningful piece of art, you’ll probably have more luck with online galleries that allow artists to display their work regardless of their investment value. Maybe there’s nothing new about money usurping art; maybe the very best artists are forever lost…

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About artnexus

art-lover photographer
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