How much would you pay for a Damien Hirst skull? Not as much as you might think, as it turns out – if you are happy to fork out for a loose doodle on the back if a poster, that is! The doodle, having been given to a friend in Mexico, has somehow found its way to an auction house in Gloucestershire, with an estimated price tag of £6,000.
A spokesperson for the auction house Chorley’s of Prinknash explained that the work was ‘acquired directly from the artist by the vendor’ at an exhibition at the Hilario Galgueria Gallery in Mexico in 2006: ‘During the after show party which included a wrestling match Hirst sketched a skull and the slogan Love is Blind on the back of one of the discarded wrestling posters for a friend,’ she explained; ‘She now wishes to sell the drawing locally in light of Hirst’s connection with Gloucestershire – he owns Toddington Manor and has a studio in Stroud.’
The sketch measures 87cm (34 in) by 57.5cm (22 in) and will be sold on 24 May 2012. If the artworld really is the new Hollywood (as those in the know say that it is), then verily does Hirst step into the shoes of Robert De Niro, Tom Cruise, and George Clooney; for if his international renown does not quite matchup to his celluloid analogues then, most certainly, do his paycheques. His current Tate Modern retrospective is about time then; the first substantial survey of his work in a British institution, taking us right back to the beginning in the late 1980s, and traversing the monumental career of an exceptionally talented and precocious art student who would become perhaps the world’s most ostentatious luxury brand.
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