Damien Hirst and the Case of the Spot Paintings

I read this article about Damian’s Hirst’s famous “spot paintings” and it reminded me of the some the conversations of art’s value, both intrinsically and in the art marketplace. I found this article especially interesting because the author presents the Hirst more as a cunning businessman than an “artist.” Essentially, Hirst produces these interesting spot paintings, sometimes himself and sometimes by delegating them to other workers. However, until recently he withheld how many such paintings were in existence. While originally, this allowed him to proliferate more art pieces (and therefore expand both his reputation and bank account), investors began to worry that there were too many in circulation thereby lowering their worth. To counteract the dampening of his work’s value, Hirst decided to release an official book of every spot painting he’s ever made (of which he has recorded 1,314), relieving some of the fears of his investors.

Stories like these always make me question the entire foundation of what makes art valuable.

But then things become to complicated, so I stop.



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