Art Stage Singapore, the premier art fair in Southern Asia opened its fifth edition, on January 22 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Featuring 145 galleries, 34 of which are Singapore-based, the fair has a strong foundation of Asia-based exhibitors, and states that it strives to bridge the various art epicentres across Asia.
One highlights of the fair was a book signing by art duo Gilbert & George, courtesy of Arndt Gallery, Berlin. Now the premier art fair can boast the sale of a Damien Hirst Butterfly painting, titled ‘Amorous’ (2008), for $1.6 million, or approximately £1 million – making it the top sale at the fair as of Sunday afternoon.
The Straits Times reports that Aenon Loo of White Cube, Hirst’s London gallery, confirmed the sale, calling Hirst a rare artist “who addresses universal themes through his art. There are issues of life and death, beauty and ugliness, which lend a universal resonance to his art.” The buyer is an anonymous collector from the region.
The painting consists of a large quantity of dead butterflies adhered to a surface of wet paint, creating a large red circle, in a rahter Baconian gold frame. The record for one of the paintings from the Butterfly series is approximately $4 million or £2.6 million, for ‘Ascended’ (2008), the work was sold at Hirst’s “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever” auction at Sotheby’s London in 2008. Other works from the series have sold for between $1 million or £663,350 and $3 million or £1.9 million.