Deep Thought Thursday

If Damien Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull sells for the $100 million he's asking for it, that will make it the highest-priced work of contemporary art ever sold. (Right now it's just the highest price ever asked for a contemporary piece.)

What does that do for his place in the contemporary artworld or in art history?

What does it say about the buyer?

What does it say about contemporary art?

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9 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday”

  1. For Hirst – I think his place in the history of art or even just contemporary art is already set. I do think he is an important, clever artist whether you believe that’s on an artistic level or a marketing and hype level. Either way kudos to him. I don’t think just this one piece is the security of his future reputation. But anyone can fall as fast as they rise too, lest we forget. (For what it’s worth I really like some of his work, and really dislike some of it.) The buyer – it says he/she has a lot of money, possibly good investment sense (though equally possibly not, only time will tell), and possibly likes the piece (though that’s not necessary). Probably has a good insurance plan too. 😉 I don’t think it says much at all about contemporary art. Contemporary art as a whole is so vast and varied that any one single piece doesn’t really reflect on the whole. It might, however, say a lot about the contemporary art market at a certain level.

  2. it appears that the unusual art of taxidermy is in vogue… a dead shark, a dead skull …David Altmejd, Canada’s rep. at the Venice Biennale honoured the rooster …(he referred to the euphemistic term though in jest)…death is always a growing business, ain’t it? it feels like Mardi Gras…the tragi-comic parallel …the new spin is the humour…if comedy is tragedy over time, then apparently collectors have a.d.d. (attention deficit disorder) & they need their smile now, while watching the remains of the day…cynicism aside, a big sale is a tremendous trickle down economics stimulus to the rest of us…& it’s been a long time since Sunflowers…thumbs up from me, Hirst gets to live…(this time)…

  3. I addressed this in a blog post on June 11th titled, “Is there no limit to Man’s Ability to Make a Jackass of Himself?” The post was written by a guest, Bill Bonner but only because I couldn’t improve upon it. I think the title says it all. . . .

  4. Alyson B. Stanfield

    I happen to think this piece is gorgeous and I far prefer it to other Hirst pieces. I confess I’d like to see it in person–especially to experience the tight security and aura surrounding it. I’m also interested in further exploring the ethics involved in securing the diamonds and the skull. I realize I am a little late to weigh in on this, which has been in the news since June!

  5. I’m a little tired of the idea of art being “see how much money someone will pay for something”. Hirst’s skull doesn’t say much about the art world in general, because it just represents a small rarefied fraction of it: a land where the price of a piece is more important than, well, anything else.

  6. I had to go look up this piece online to see what all the hubbub was about. I agree with Alyson that it’s a beautiful piece…but what a price tag! 28 million to make? The IRS must take a pause at that kind of expense I would think….;-) Seriously, is this about art or money? Is it a commentary on how art has become about money or how money rules much of how art is made and exhibited? The very fact that it causes us to question, judge and think is what art at its best can do for a culture…so I have to admit to mixed feelings here. It’s cool and totally ridiculous and funny and sad and powerful commentary all at the same time, in my humble opinion.

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