Two Hirsts Dodge Day in Court
It looked like to sculptures by Damien Hirst were headed for court. The two pieces, worth an estimated $47.6 million, were part of a broader lawsuit involving Udo Fritz-Hermann Brandhorst, an art collector and heir to the Henkel AG & Co. fortune. Brandhorst's former mistress, Venetia Kapernekas, sued Brandhorst in federal court for the artwork.
Kapernekas, a 49-year-old art dealer, agreed to drop the lawsuit over the weekend in exchange for custody of the daughter she had with Brandhorst, a one-time $100,000 payment, a $500,000 trust for their daughter's education, a loft in Soho (worth around $5 million) to be held in the daughter's name and $640,000 to cover her legal expenses. She'll also get $5,000 a month in child support.
As part of the deal, Kapernekas will be able to sell an Andy Warhol painting she received from Brandhorst. It's a heart-shaped blue and red piece called "Candy Box Open" from 1983. She has chosen Sotheby's in London to handle the sale, and it could go for $40,000. She won't be able to sell another Warhol, "Heart," because it belongs to her daughter.
Brandhorst bought the two Hirst pieces –including a 20 foot pill cabinet called "in this terrible moment we are victims clinging helplessly to an environment that refuses to acknowledge the soul" – from the Gagosian Gallery in 2002. Kapernekas claimed an interest in the pieces because she wired $825,416.83 to an art dealer in New York to allow Brandhorst to make the buy "as an investment for Kapernekas," according to Bloomberg News. Brandhorst paid $3 million for the pieces, which are now valued at a combined $47.6 million.