Chugging out too much corpse bling, medical knock-offs and novelty junk doesn’t just make Damien Hirst look like a greedy egoist. Apparently, when Hirst purposely tried to inflate his art market… he broke it. If the face of the art market is Damien Hirst, then it’s an ass.
Yawning at accusations of plagiarism, in 2008 he made $270 million, The Economist tallies. He flooded the market with hundreds of intentionally overpriced lots. An Italian bought an entire formaldehyde farm. The Russians bought anything diamond-shiny. Hirst himself even bought back his own work at a higher price to inflate his own worth. He kept flinging out new work in bulk (mostly spin art, yawn), but in 2009, Hirst sales fell 93% to $19 million. No one wants to buy anything but butterflies.
And now, mid-plague of painful art cuts, the King Shit of Bling Mountain can’t even be put on a pro-art funding petition.