What's the Fuss? Hirst Back (Kinda) at Phillips Auction
At today's Phillips de Pury & Co. auction, Now: Art of the 21st century, handbag designer (and possibly former artist) Damien Hirst is back on the scene with a major auction house. A year ago, he divested his collection of his own work, ostensibly sensing that the market for him was about to crash (which, in fact, it did). Phillips de Pury isn't making any big bets today with Hirst, though. For now, it has two lithographs of Hirst's famous(ly expensive) skull up for sale. For the Love of God, Laugh; The Diamond Skull is listed at £10,000 - £15,000.
Peter Fuss, on the other hand, seems to have nailed it. His piece, For the Laugh of God,, shown above, is also up for grabs. It's a knockoff skull, listed for a little more than half the price of the lithos (£6,000 - £8,000), but the title conveys the spirit. Created when Hirst was peddling the original skull for the princely sum of £50 million ($100 million at the time), For the Laugh of God was originally offered for £100, as a way to help Britain reclaim this "treasure."
The blog "Modelator," which covers Polish art, observed in June 2007, "Our British friends, we are coming to rescue you! Like the cheap Polish labour well known to you, Polish artist Peter Fuss wishes to relieve the British nation from such a great expense." This was in response to Guardian journalist Jonathan Jones, who declared, "We must buy the diamond skull for Britain."
While Hirst's skull cost a fortune even in materials, For the Laugh of God consists of close to 9,900 pieces of glass made to look like diamonds and entailed an investment of £250 and 18 hours. Now, it's up for more than 40 times that amount, while Hirst is reduced to selling posters.