12 Jan
Another brilliant way to get rich while clowning the art world

Remember in 2007 when Damien Hirst took that skull and encrusted it with a bajillion diamonds, and then put it up for sale for $100,000,000? And then remember how nobody bought it, and then at the last second a “mystery” buyer came out of nowhere and salvaged the value of his entire oeuvre bought it? Hirst claimed that piece — the aptly titled For the Love of God — had been sold for the full asking price, in cash, leaving no paper trail. Convenient? Yes… that is until Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs came knocking for the $17 million (£8.5 million) in VAT payments, which suddenly caused Hirst’s story to quiet up real quick. So was it sold, or was it not sold? As David Lee, editor of The Jackdaw, commented “Everyone in the art world knows Hirst hasn’t sold the skull. It’s clearly just an elaborate ruse to drum up publicity and rewrite the book value of all his other work.” They say a sucker is born every minute, but apparently Hirst’s goal of finding a $100 million sucker fell short… but you know what they say, if at first you don’t succeed, take another skull, encrust it in more diamonds, and give the art world another chance of making a collective ass clown out of themselves. Oh, and this time make it a baby skull to maximize controversy meaning. This new piece, titled For Heaven’s Sake, is a newborn less-than two-week-old infant cast in platinum and pave-set with 8,128 white and pink diamonds. The For Heaven’s Sake baby skull will be the centerpiece of an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Hirst debuting January 18th at the Gagosian Gallery’s new space in Hong Kong, and has an undisclosed value of about $50 million. See this is where I think Hirst is tripping up — if you’re going to create art and then assign an astronomical value to it to increase the value of all your work, both future and past, then why settle for only $50 mill? Damien, think big my man — why not, say, $500 million? There’s gotta be a Russian oil magnate out there looking for something to class up the foyer of his megayacht…

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