Same Damien Hirst for 25 times less – artmarketblog.com
While traveling home on the train this evening I had an epiphany of epic proportions. An epiphany that could change the way people view Damien Hirst’s work and the market for his work forever !!!
What was this great epiphany I hear you ask??? Well, let me share. How many spot paintings do you suppose Damien Hirst has produced – ten, fifty, 100?. Try hundreds. And considering his name is on the works you would presume the dots were painted by Hirst right?. Wrong. The difficult task of painting the dots is most likely to have been carried out by one of Hirst’s many employees. In fact, in an article in UK newspaper ‘The Independant’, Hirst is quoted as saying:
“The spots I painted are shite,” Hirst has said. “The best person who ever painted spots for me was Rachel. She’s brilliant. The best spot painting you can have by me is one painted by Rachel.”
Below I have posted pictures and details for two Damien Hirst spot works. The first work is a painting of four spots titled AZOCARMINE B which is part of the Sotheby’s ‘Beautiful Inside My Head Forever’ (Day Sale) auction and has an estimate of 250,000—350,000 GBP. The second work is an etching o nine spots titled QUENE I – AM which is currently available to be purchased from the Other Criteria website (http://www.othercriteria.com) for 10,000 GBP. So, what we have here are two works that consist of several dots that were presumably by the hand of someone other than Damien Hirst (In 2007 Hirst claimed authorship of only 5 of the hundreds of spot paintings with his name on them).
Yes, there are several differences between the two works but the primary characteristics are exactly the same. If it doesn’t matter who put the dots on the paper or canvas then as far as I am concerned it doesn’t make any difference how the dots got on the paper or canvas. I also don’t see how it matters if one is an etching and one is a painting considering that Hirst has produced the spot paintings in a series of many hundred meaning both the printed dots and painted dots are both essentially part of an edition of hundreds. Neither do I think it matters whether the dots are hand painted or hand printed. Either way, the finished product is still a series of hand applied dots applied by the hand of someone other than Hirst. It is also fair to say that both these works probably took the same amount of effort and time to complete.
Overall, the biggest physical difference between the two works is the size with “AZOCARMINE B” being bigger than “QUENE I – AM” but I hardly think that the difference in size is worth a difference in price of a quarter of a million pounds. What this all comes down to is that fact that the value of Hirst’s works is in the concept and the creator of the concept (ie. Hirst) and that the method of production and the identity of the producer is really not that important to the value of Hirst’s work. Consequently there is no real justification for the difference in price of these two works.
In conclusion, my analysis of these two works has shown that for 10,000 GBP you can acquire a work by Damien Hirst that is essentially the same as a work estimated to sell for 250,000-350,000 pounds. My advice would be to spend the 10,000 GBP or if you really want to spend a quarter of a million pounds on works by Damien Hirst then buy 25 of the “QUENE I – AM” works.
- DAMIEN HIRST
182.9 by 182.9cm.
72 by 72in.
signed, titled and dated 2008 on the reverse
household gloss on canvas (spot size twenty-four inches)
- DAMIEN HIRST
QUENE I – AM
45 3/8×44 1/4 in
Edition of 100
A unique one plate etching with 9 colours on Hahnemuhle paper 350g. Inked and printed by hand using French Charbonnel etching inks. Signed, dated, numbered and titled by the artist. Available exclusively from other criteria
If you would like to order one of these etchings all you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications