Archive for the Damien Hirst Category

While I haven’t been the most active poster over the past three weeks, I have been following one story carefully (and collecting multiple links on it)–i.e., The Meltdown of the Current Art Market. For your enjoyment, then, I’ve put together a Cavalcade of Links tracking the falling fortunes of the art market over the last month:

  • Tapped Out? (Big New York Auction Houses Brace for a Slower Dance at the Fall Sales), New York Times, October 26
  • Our False Oracles Have Failed, We Need a New Vision to Live By (Huge financial success has hidden the moral bankruptcy in our civilisation, we must rediscover our lost values or perish), London Times, October 30

And, my very favorite link of all:

According to United Press International, the English artist Angus Fairhurst—a founding member of the Young British Artists group—committed suicide yesterday. There is no indication of his reasons for doing so.

Artist Angus Fairhurst dead at 41

LONDON, April 1 (UPI) — Angus Fairhurst, one of the founding members of the Young British Artists group of conceptual artists, has hanged himself from a tree, police said.

He was 41.

Fairhurst’s representative told The Daily Telegraph newspaper the artist committed suicide Saturday on the last day of his third solo show at a London gallery.

Strathclyde Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Fairhurst’s death.

His body was found in a remote Highland woods near the Bridge of Orchy, the newspaper said.

“He always supported me, in fair weather and foul,” Fairhurst’s fellow artist Damien Hirst said. “He shone like the moon and as an artist he had just the right amount of ’slightly round the bend.’ I loved him.”

Fairhurst’s latest solo exhibition of sculptures and large-scale paintings was at Sadie Coles HQ in London.

“Angus was funny, ridiculously charming, a wonderful cook and great host, a crazy dancer, a radical gardener, a nature lover and an intensely intelligent artist,” Coles and her fellow director Pauline Daly said in a joint statement.

Fairhurst is survived by his mother, Sally, and brother, Charles.

A lot of articles have been published in the past few weeks about the fall art auction season, each with conflicting assessments of the state of the current art market. It’s difficult for us non-insiders to know what to think, as one day the news is poor, and the next the news is stunningly good (at least for the auctioneers).

Consider this run-down of recent article-posed questions: Is the market failing, as Sotheby’s stocks fall upon failing to sell out a lot? Is the downturn of the art market a sign of collapse in the economy in general? Is the art market heading for a crash, or is the market as healthy as ever (as sales records continue to mount and Sotheby’s stocks rebound.)

The New York Times auction season-culminating article in the end called the art sales results spotty at best, with traditional and established favorites artists selling at amounts under pre-auction estimates or not selling at all, while cut-rate are by younger artists broke sales records. The article quoted on auction director as admitting; “We bit off more than we can chew…”

Ironically, another recent NYT article described the business-as-usual art-world excess and “over-the-top decadance” (i.e., an exhibition by Damien Hirst that cost more than $1 million to produce) that continued even in the midst of all this market uncertainty and turmoil. The installation, currently running at the Lever House on Park Avenue through February 16, presents formaldehyde-filled tanks with 30 dead sheep, one dead shark, two sides of beef, 300 sausages, and a pair of doves, as well as 15 medicine cabinets filled with bottles with labels for antidepressants, cough medicine, and other drugs.

“It’s my flock,” said Mr. Hirst, at the end of the story.