Is The Art Bubble About To Pop?


Possibly, according to Stephen Marche – at least if Damien Hirst's market value is any indicator:

He has produced some dreadful still lifes and a magnificently grotesque sculpture [above] that is both ugly and pointless and, much less forgivable, not particularly interesting. But diminishing quality doesn't explain the ferocity of the collapse. The value of works that have been much feted, and which have made him among the richest artists in the world, with a fortune somewhere in the vicinity of 400 million dollars, has been declining steadily. If you own a Hirst, sell now. The value of Hirst paintings sold between 2005 and 2008 have taken nearly a 30 percent bath in the meantime. Since 2009, a third of his works have failed to sell at auction.

He continues:

It's no coincidence that Hirst's peak was in 2008, just before the economic crash. Hirst's paintings and scultpures are the aesthetic equivalent of bad collateralized debt obligations. They are worth what people believe they are worth. And when people stop believing? They are worth nothing.

(Photo: The morning sun illuminates detail in Damien Hirst's bronze sculpture of a pregnant woman on October 17, 2012 in Ilfracombe, England. The bronze-clad, sword-wielding 65ft (20m) statue, named Verity, has been controversially given to the seaside town by the artist, on a 20-year loan and was erected yesterday by crane onto the harbour pier. By Matt Cardy/Getty Images)