As reported on Artnet and referred by Tony Fitzpatrick
HIRST BUYS HIS OWN SKULL. . .
“He only recognizes art with his wallet,” Damien Hirst once said of collector Charles Saatchi, “he believes he can affect art values with buying power, and he still believes he can do it.” The quote reverberated ironically as it was announced that Hirst himself was part of the investment group that is purchasing For the Love of God, his $100-million platinum-and-diamond skull, recently on view at the White Cube gallery in London.
Hirst’s involvement in the purchase (as well as the sale) raised immediate questions about the deal, with Bloomberg reporter Linda Sandler suggesting that perhaps “Hirst hasn’t yet found a final buyer for his most expensive artwork, at a time when hedge fund managers and other art collectors have lost money in the credit markets.” Several years ago, when Saatchi sold off his collection of Hirst works, the artist teamed up with his gallery, with much fanfare, to repurchase his own works — a move that no doubt boosted his market value, not unlike when corporations buy back their own stock to raise their share price. [Read more]
Transplant patient Jennifer Sutton paid a visit to an exhibition in London called The Heart today, mainly to check out a particular item on display – her own heart.
Jennifer, 23, from the New Forest, UK, had a heart transplant at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, on 4 June 2007. She lent her heart to the Wellcome Collection for the exhibition to increase public awareness of donation and Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, the disease that would have killed her.
As you might imagine, she found the experience very odd and moving. “Seeing my heart for the first time is an emotional and surreal experience. It caused me so much pain and turmoil when it was inside me. Seeing it sitting here is extremely bizarre and very strange. Finally I can see this odd looking lump of muscle that has given me so much upset. It’s tremendous it has become an object of fascination and will get people thinking about the disease, heart transplants and organ donation.”
An unnamed investment group has agreed to pay $100 million in cash for the final piece of Daimen Hirst’s June 3rd show at London’s White Cube Gallery. The platinum skull, studded with 8,601 diamonds was the final piece and brings the 2 gallery exhibition to a total of 180 million pounds ($362.4 million),
“The sale is expected to close in three to four weeks, when all the paperwork is finished, Frank Dunphy, Hirst’s business manager said. The group of buyers would be required to show the skull for two or three years in museums around the world.”
Usually, buyers operating at the $100 million level would get a discount, private dealer Richard Polsky said.
The buyers probably wouldn’t be “diamond people,” because the skull’s price was so much higher than the value of the diamond content, said London jeweler and art collector Laurence Graff, who looked at the skull when it was on show and didn’t buy it.
“I’m in the diamond business and I would only be interested in diamonds at diamond prices,” Graff said in a telephone interview today.”
The skull’s sale would enrich Hirst, 42, whose fortune has been valued at 130 million pounds by the London-based Sunday Times and who may get 75 percent or more of the proceeds of a sale, according to art professionals.
In NYC, a filmmaker/games designer committed suicide last week. Her companion, a well-known contemporary abstract artist, has gone missing for 8 days and is presumed dead:
The filmmaker, Theresa Duncan, 40, who has also drawn attention for her writings on cultural topics, committed suicide in their East Village apartment on July 10, the police said. Her companion, Jeremy Blake, 35, a well-regarded artist known for digital animation that blurs the line between abstract painting and film, has been missing since his clothes were found on a beach in the Rockaways on Tuesday evening, they added.
Link to NYT story. Here’s a related item on Gothamist. Modern Art Notes has more, including word that the Corcoran will go forward with a planned exhibition of Blake’s work. Above: still from Jeremy Blake’s 14-minute DVD art piece “Sodium Fox,” 2005. Link to Theresa Duncan’s blog. (thanks, Coop, and Circuit Master)