Poster Boy For Modern Art Boom Lays Off Staff


We told you how it’s rumoured that Sotheby’s is having trouble getting paid the money it’s owed from the $198 million sale of Damien Hirst‘s works. That big sale was in September. A few weeks can make quite a difference.

(Hirst, to jog your memory, is the Brit artist most famous for diamond-encrusted skulls, and a shark suspended in formaldehyde, pictured.)

The Guardian (Hat Tip: Creativity): …up to 17 of the 22 people who make the pills for Hirst’s drug cabinet series were told their contracts were not being renewed, according to two sources close to Science Ltd, Hirst’s main art-producing company. Another three who make his butterfly paintings were also told they were surplus to requirements.

It is thought that amounts to approximately half of the London-based artists who work for Hirst. They are paid about £19,000 a year, sources said.

…Jude Tyrrell, a director of Science Ltd, confirmed jobs were going, but wouldn’t be drawn on how many.

“As previously stated by Damien, he is finishing a number of bodies of works which is why temporary contracts (fixed term) have not been renewed. We have to be mindful of the current economic climate and how this may affect us in the future.”

The New York Times: In 2007 Mr. Hirst’s work “Lullaby Spring,” a cabinet filled with pills painted by hand sold for $14.4 million. But at an auction this month at Sotheby’s in New York, a minor Hirst work sold for well below its estimate while a second did not sell at all.

Image via Treehugger.

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