The Golden Calf


Lavish English artist Damien Hirst presents Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, a collection of his newest work, put directly to auction at Sotheby’s London, September 15th and 16th. The main attraction during the two-day circus will be “The Golden Calf,” expected to draw between 8 and 12 million pounds ($16 to 24 million).

This monstrous work freezes a bull in formaldehyde, submerged in a glass and gold-plated case full that stretches 3-meters long. The bull is crowned with a solid gold disc. 18 karat gold touches include the hooves and horns of the beast. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, a golden calf represents a false god, a symbol of idolatry. This calf towers over the viewer on a 2 meter tall marble base.

Neither the first time Hirst has dealt in death, cows, formaldehyde nor Sotheby’s auctions, this will mark the first time a living artist has put a collection of brand new work straight to the market. Hirst calls a direct auction the most “democratic” way to sell his art, but assures that he has not turned his back on the traditional gallery.

Sotheby’s first all-Hirst auction tore apart the defunct Notting Hill restaurant, the Pharmacy, for which Hirst had designed all aspects from martini glasses to the stained glass windows. Preceding the opening of this restaurant, Hirst had built a full-size chemist lab open to the public on a busy street: a work he called “Pharmacy.” At auction, pieces of the restaurant were sold like relics and eager spectators clambered to catch a glimpse of anything graced with Hirst’s morbid Midas-touch.

Following “For the Love of God,” Hirst’s last work at auction, a human skull dipped in platinum and encrusted with diamonds, the Golden Calf hardly has the same draw. The skull was sold to a private investment group for $100 million dollars.

Via Born Rich