Reflection’s in the Mirror, Art and the Free Market

Posted on September 19, 2008


Shepard Fairy, Print Obey Series

  • As the world of Wall Street rides the Monster,

a Roller Coaster of unprecedented fear, Damian Hirst grabbed the golden ring on the Sotheby’s Merry Go Round, breaking sales records for a single artist at the auction his artwork this past Monday and Tuesday.

  • Pickled Sharks, Butterfly Paintings and an assortment of 200 other related works sold for two hundred million dollars (198,000,000). More than 600 buyers attended the three auctions.

Damien Hirst became famous for his brand of art that features death and decay as a central theme, Sharks, Zebra’s, Cows with Golden Hoofs entombed in Formaldehyde filled display tanks along with Diamond Encrusted Skulls and Butterfly collections.

  • Reminiscent of Joseph Cornell’s surreal collections of over looked objects assembled into works of art. The foundations of Dada scream loudly in Hirst,s work as he uses common objects on a sensational scale to shock his audience with his in your face symbolism.

  • On Wall Street the failure of the conceptual securities market threatens the destruction of the American economy has been driven by unsecured credit and rotting paper for nearly a decade.

As of today “We the People” have paid nearly a Trillion dollars to bail out American Investment Banks and Insurance Companies who traded in Toxic paper without our consent. Rather our current administration is acting on our behalf as our chosen leaders. As far as I can tell from watching all of this insanity unfold.

  • No One knows how much of this toxic soup is still left in the pot.

In addition the Feds plan to establish a fund to buy up what ever is left of these bad investments to clean the balance sheets of our national banking and investment system. Estimates of the future costs to the American Tax Payer are in the conceptual realm with speculation they could be as high as another Trillion dollars or more.

  • Perhaps this is why so many buyers rushed out to purchase rotting flesh at Sotheby’s this week, it has more value than money, than the rotting paper and the balance sheets of banks that are not worth as much as the soiled bed sheets at a cheap motel.

Hirst is right on the mark with his symbols of modern culture. He uses objects that are dear to us, overlooked and speak to our core beliefs as humans. Money, Religion and a global society that has lost it’s sense of direction.

We have been lead astray by our our core convictions as our leadership plays on our emotions to convince us that they are working in our best interest. Ideas that feed our deepest fears, our religious beliefs and our greed have become the power used against us by our masters.

  • Many have criticized Damien Hirst not only for his art but for his success.

He though I think is a genius and rightfully so. His observation of the world as it is has been manufactured into works of art that will surely be evaluated and studied for centuries to come in an attempt to understand our culture as we try to understand Rome from their art objects.

  • Dead Cows with Golden Hoofs in tanks filled with toxic chemicals are US.

The difference between the conceptual ideas of Hirst and Wall Street is he deals with tangible objects of transparent established value and I can bet you the owners knows where their investments are. Right next to the big screen TV that spits propaganda in our faces that we slurp up like a Big Gulp at the neighborhood convenience store.

Wall Street

Hirst Auction Desk Top