Clippings from the salon floor, #11

Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007Hirstian Math 1 From Linda Sandler of Bloomberg’s $100 Million Diamond Skull Is ‘Almost’ Sold: “The skull represents about a fifth of the value of Hirst’s show at Jay Jopling’s White Cube galleries, according to the artist’s business manager, Frank Dunphy…. The life-sized platinum skull, studded with 8,601 stones weighing 1,106.18 carats, cost Hirst $20 million to make — about the same amount as Jopling spent to build his new White Cube Mason’s Yard gallery.”

Hirstian Math 2 From the’s Hirst unveils  £50m diamond skull: “The 18th Century skull is entirely covered in 8,601 jewels, while new teeth were made for the artwork at a cost of  £14m .”

Hirstian Math 3 From the Reuters skull story: “Hirst, who financed the skull himself, said he couldn’t remember whether it had cost 10 or 15 million pounds.”

Hirstian logic Richard Dorment, dependably crystalline in his prose writes: “If anyone but Hirst had made this curious object, we would be struck by its vulgarity. It looks like the kind of thing Asprey or Harrods might sell to credulous visitors from the oil states with unlimited amounts of money to spend, little taste, and no knowledge of art. I can imagine it gracing the drawing room of some African dictator or Colombian drug baron.”

Hey, what’s € 1M between enemies? From the Independent’s “Venice Biennale director storms out amid war of words,” re exiting biennial director Renato Quaglia’s claim that its chief curator Rob Storr is a million euros over budget: “I have not gone over budget,” Professor Storr told The Art Newspaper. “This is my world and I know how it works. I gather Mr Quaglia is very well informed about theatre. From my experience, he seems to know very little about visual art.

“Churning out masterpieces“?!? From the Financial Post (Canada) story Hedge fund’s new frontier: art: “The Art Trading Fund, which is based in the U.K., has signed up a stable of 10 ‘world-renowned’ artists to create masterpieces for the fund and no one else. The fund audited their sales results over the past three years to ensure the group has a steady track record of returns. Each artist churns out between 50 and 100 pieces a year, and the fund has the right, but not the obligation, to buy those works.”

The Dictatorship of the viewer An excerpt from an interview with British painter Howard Hodgkin, cited by Modern Kicks:
Interviewer: Do you ever feel the audience has failed you?
Hodgkin: No, no. Being an English artist, I’ve learnt who is the boss.

Bytes for bucks? from’s “Deep in Second Life,” re Boston artist Jeffrey Lipsky, aka “Filthy Fluno” in Second Life: “As a result of his Second Life celebrity, Lipsky has been featured in the Boston Globe, invited to exhibit in shows all over the world, and sold a glut of works—so many that he has been able to quit his day job as executive director of the Munroe Center for the Arts.”

Aimless Life? From Jennifer Allen’s news digest, re the launch event for Life!, the second issue of the Documenta magazine project: “‘The interest was great,’ reported Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ‘About a hundred people stood in front of the overcrowded bookshop and looked with expectation at a loudspeaker, from which English greetings were relayed outside the shop. But one understood next to nothing, content-wise.‘”

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