It looked like a dream team. The world’s most successful living artist, British Damien Hirst, and the world’s most powerful and best-selling art dealer with galleries all over the world, Larry Gagosian.
This summer nothing seemed to be able to come between the two men who have helped each other to make millions on Damien Hirst’s often ground-breaking art.
The American art dealer even arranged to exhibit Damien Hirst’s famous spot paintings, consisting of colored dots painted after the artist’s instructions on galleries in cities with strong buying audience as London, New York and Paris.
All gave the impression that the Gagosian Gallery and Hirst were inseparable.
But in reality, the exhibition have been the death knell for the relationship. It assesses the journalist Georgina Adams, specializing in modern British art, who followed Hirst’s career from the beginning.
“I think it was a kind of artistic suicide. Suddenly it dawned on people, how many spot paintings there are out there and how readily available they actually are, and how little Damien Hirst himself has been involved in producing them, “she says.
She believes that Hirst’s declining value is the core of the explanation of why Larry Gagosian and the British artist stops cooperation.
Rumors elsewhere supports the theory that Hirst’s earning potential is not what it used to be. According to analyzes by the American Forbes Magazine, works of the man who at the same time was appointed British art prodigy and enfant terrible, are no longer as valuable as they have been.
Compared with Hirst’s heyday in the years 2005-08, the value of his works fell by about 30 percent, according to market research.
Hirst peaked in 2008, when he went directly to the auction house Sotheby’s outside of art dealers and sold his art for over 1 billion dollars.
It later emerged that about half of the works were bought by Larry Gagosian and Hirst’s British gallery White Cube, which thus helped to keep prices of artist’s works at a high level.
The data is not surprising writer and former gallery owner Julian Spalding, who already in March advised people to sell their Hirst’s.
Part of this is excellent spin from Larry Gagosian.
Melaine Golis, Editor, The Arts Newspaper:
“He has finally been revealed as the fake-artist he is. As I see it, Hirst always been a case of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, “he said.
Georgina Adams does not quite agree in the assessment: “As I recall, there were very many in the adventure, which stood and said that it all so wonderful out. Not so many do anymore when it comes to Hirst. He has lost his credibility as an artist, “she says, referring to the ‘appalling’ reviews of Damien Hirst’s latest exhibition of oil paintings that made critics to retrieve words such as ‘pretentious’, ’empty’ and ‘flat’ out of the hiding.
Quite so hard in his judgment is Melaine Golis, editor of The Art Newspaper, not. “I also believe that part of this is excellent spin from Larry Gagosian. It is a fact that Hirst does not serve what he did once, but he is still a huge fire. We do not know what happened between them, and why cooperation is terminated. But I think personally that money is the only explanation, ” Melaine Golis says.
She estimates that the break might as well have happened after Damien Hirst’s desire.
“Maybe he got tired of that art dealers who are just as powerful if not more powerful than the artists. It’s the reverse world, in my opinion, ” Melaine Golis says.
She admits that Hirst ‘a long time’ has been too pricey.
“I will not say that works by Hirst is worthless. It is the far from it. But the fact that prices have fallen by 30 percent, an indication that the market has adjusted itself. This is a more realistic price, “she says.
According Melaine Golis it is still a fairly good investment to secure a work by Hirst.
If you then afford. Prices are still out of reach for most.
“But it must be the earlier works. I still believe that he will go down in art history, ” Melaine Golis says.
Georgina Adam bluntly says that she “would not dream of buying a Hirst” if she could afford.
“Artistically it is hard to see how he actually can go now. He seems like to have done it all, and when you have been known to staging, mass production and strong colors, it is perhaps hard to be taken seriously as oil painting, “she says.
“It may well be that the breach has been caused by Damien Hirst. I know we are strictly speaking not. But because of the falling values and the bad reviews that have been during the year, the Larry Gagosian probably has not fought tooth and nail to keep him. The list of artists in his stable are full of success’.