The long-anticipated financial apocalypse may finally be upon us, but, hilariously, there’s still a bull market for dead animals soaked in formaldehyde! With still a day left to go, Damien Hirst’s dealer-bypassing “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever” auction at Sotheby’s has already sold $127 million worth of art, breaking the record for the biggest sale by a single artist. The 223 pieces being offered at the two-day sale were expected to bring in only around $115 million total, but the lure of expired bulls with gold-painted hoofs (Hirst’s The Golden Calf went for $18.6 million) proved simply too much for rich people who’d just come from dumping all their stocks.
Only two works didn’t sell — Devil Worshipper, consisting of dead flies adhered to a canvas, and Theology, Philosophy, Medicine, Justice, which features four bulls sharing two tanks. Everything else moved fast, though, aided, no doubt, by Hirst’s promise to produce fewer animal-corpse-centric pieces and no more spin or spot paintings, which are famously done by his many assistants, who will now be tasked exclusively with counting all his money.