Damien Hirst Dating Controversy Continues as Report Reveals More Works Made Later Than Stated - The World News

Damien Hirst Dating Controversy Continues as Report Reveals More Works Made Later Than Stated

Damien Hirst this week continued to face scrutiny over the dating of his artworks after a new Guardian report revealed on Tuesday that more than 1,000 paintings were made years later than his studio stated.

The dating controversy began in March after two prior Guardian reports questioned whether certain works by Hirst were actually made in the years his studio said they were. One work mentioned in those reports was an $8 million sculpture featuring a shark contained in a formaldehyde-filled tank. The sculpture had been dated to 1999, but according to the Guardian, it may have actually been produced in 2017.

Related Articles

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 17:  The Unknown Center Bar is seen with Damien Hirst's "The Unknown" art piece during the From Dust To Gold preview party at the Palms Casino Resort on May 17, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Palms Casino Resort)

“Formaldehyde works are conceptual artworks, and the date Damien Hirst assigns to them is the date of the conception of the work,” a Hirst spokesperson told the Guardian at the time.

The newly disputed works are much lower in value and more recent. The paintings all come from a series of dot paintings done on A4 paper; they were dated to 2016. Five years later, Hirst went on to produce NFTs of these works, in an event that received a good deal of media attention at the time.

But the Guardian, citing unnamed sources, said that these works were actually “mass-produced in 2018 and 2019.” The publication reported that there were at least 1,100 paintings subject to the erroneous dating.

A representative for Hirst’s studio did not deny to the Guardian that the paintings were made years after 2016. Still, that spokesperson said, it is Hirst’s “usual practice” to date works back to the year in which the idea was conceived, continuing the logic that these paintings are conceptual pieces.

Gagosian, Hirst’s gallery, did not respond to request for comment from ARTnews.

The disputed pieces all come from “The Currency,” a series derived from Hirst’s larger body of dot paintings. In 2021, as NFT mania hit a high point in the art world, Hirst offered NFTs of 10,000 “Currency” paintings, along with a unique caveat: buyers could choose between physical or digital versions of each work, and if the latter were purchased, Hirst would burn its paper counterpart.

The “Currency” NFT sales were initially a hit, generating some $47 million in sales during its first month. But in the following year, the sales petered out significantly, in what many viewed as yet another sign of a “crypto winter” setting in.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *