Today in the Whacky Art Market

12/14/2012 3:16 PM |


When up-and-coming Bushwick galleries eke out a living by hosting holiday art sales, it’s a strange disconnect knowing what’s going on in the upper echelon of the art market. Just yesterday in The New York Times, Roberta Smith described this bizarro world in majestic detail:

Sometimes it seems as if it could just take off — with all its bling, astounding prices and show-off collectors and climbers — and park in some other part of the art galaxy, there to thrive or collapse of its own accord.

You never know what’s going to happen in this otherworldly art world, and today proves to be no exception.

First off, Damien Hirst left Gagosian, his New York gallery. This is right after last year’s massive dot tour, when all the world’s Gagosian galleries showed Hirst’s dot paintings simultaneously. Something must’ve gone wrong after this extravaganza, but so far, nobody outside the art world’s inner circle knows. Right now, there’s some hungry-eyed dealers in New York who’re craving some of Hirst’s million-dollar pie.

Next on this list of uber rich strangeness, we’ve got a story about Salvador Dali duping Yoko Ono into buying some hair for $18,000. She was 18, and we’re not really sure where she got all that money. This report, published at Artforum, follows up on The Telegraph’s charge that Dali thought she might have been a witch and sent her a blade of grass instead. Something is very wrong with these people.

Finally, there’s The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, which has been selling off much of its collection to raise money for the foundation. There’s nothing wrong with that, but now, they’ve partnered with surfboard maker Tim Bessell to create Andy Warhol-licensed surfboards. The signs read as a true partnership, with both listed as the creators. Bringing it all back home, you can buy these surfboards at choice locations worldwide, like Gagosian.