The Golden Calf: Damien Hirst at Auction

Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, the two-day Damien Hirst auction at Sotheby’s, London this week, glowed despite the economic woes of Wall Street. Buyers spent over $200 million on 223 recent works by Hirst, well above the auction house’s high estimate for the one-man sale. The top three prices achieved were:

The Golden Calf, a white bullock with gold hoofs and horns preserved in formaldehyde, $18.6 million,
The Kingdom, a tiger shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde, $17.2 million, and
Fragments of Paradise, a stainless and glass cabinet filled with manufactured diamonds, $9.3 million.

In addition to the more macabre offerings, spin paintings, dot paintings and butterfly paintings also sold well. Sotheby’s may also boast a record number of viewers to its 11 day pre-sale auction preview which served as an exhibition of Hirst’s work; 21,000 visitors came to the viewing.

We should expect to see further single-artist auctions based upon this sale’s success.