Hirst on the Art Market: What Goes Up Must Come Down

Hirst on the Art Market: What Goes Up Must Come Down
Brit art superstar Damien Hirst has accepted the fate of the art market, admitting that it had been too expensive and saying that he will gladly sell his work for less.

In an interview with the Independent, Hirst admitted that his Beautiful Artemis Thor Neptune Odin Delusional Sapphic Inspirational Hypnosis Painting, which failed to sell at Phillips's contemporary auction last week with a $3–4 million estimate, "was overpriced," saying: "It was bought from me less than a year ago at half the price. In a way it's good. We are looking at more realistic prices."

Hirst added, "As an artist, you don't stop making art because people are not buying it."

The 43-year-old Hirst became the most expensive living artist in 2007 when his pill sculpture Lullaby Spring fetched £9.65 million at auction. He staged a direct sale of his work at Sotheby's in September, which beat out pre-sale expectations and brought in £111.5 million ($200 million). Speaking openly about the sale, he told the Independent that he had been extremely worried it would flop: "I woke up that morning and I saw the papers had called it Black Monday. I was shitting myself. I thought maybe they wouldn't sell anything."

The artist's large-scale sculpture of a unicorn in formaldehyde, titled The Dream, made £4.1 million at the Sotheby's solo sale; now, a sculpture of a unicorn case in solid silver and titled The Dream Is Dead is on sale at Pangolin London gallery for £500,000.

"What goes up must come down," Hirst said. "It's like when John Lennon went to get his long hair cut and someone asked him, 'Why are you cutting it?' He said, 'What else can you do after you have grown it long?'"