Damien Hirst’s new auction of art works has broken all the estimates to bring in a record total of Â£70.5m ($125m), with still more works for sale.Hirst has proved that the credit crunch has had no effect at the top end of the art market . His auction has caused a feeding frenzy amongst dealers and collectors .
The British artist has used the auction house Sotheby’s instead of the traditional art dealer.
It is the first time an artist has sold a substantial body of work this way.
Sotheby’s say the sale has set a new record for a sale dedicated to one artist.
The works for sale include The Golden Calf – a bull in a tank of formaldehyde, with its head crowned by a gold disc – which sold for Â£9.2m ($16.5m).
The extraordinary body of new work to be showcased at Sotheby’s is among his best yet.The Kingdom – a tiger shark also in formaldehyde – which sold for Â£9.6m ($17.2m). It had been estimated at about half that price.
The Black Sheep with the Golden Horn, another animal in formaldehyde, sold for Â£2.6m, within its Â£2-3m estimate.
The auction, entitled Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, was the first of three that will sell a total of 223 art works by Mr Hirst.
The second and third sessions are due to take place on Tuesday.
Mr Hirst has called the auction a “mini retrospective” and “probably the most amazing show I’ve put on”.
It has been called a landmark sale , but that the artist says galleries can be snobby and elitist.
A spokesman for the auction house Sotheby’s said: “The extraordinary body of new work to be showcased at Sotheby’s is among his best yet – ambitious, exquisite and incredibly powerful.”
Art news from Photogold art gallery
Harbour by Andrew Macara – limited edition print