Oh, goodness. Another day, another Damien Hirst post. But so it goes, since The Economist‘s Sarah Thornton has published a new piece on Mr. Hirst and his upcoming exhibition at Tate Modern, his first major retrospective at a modern art museum.
The major news here is that the show was to travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, a plan that is now “on indefinite hold because the show is so expensive.” Here’s Ms. Thornton:
“The price of crating, shipping, installing and insuring Mr Hirst’s works exceeds MoCA’s entire annual exhibition budget of $3m—a sum donated by Eli Broad, a philanthropist. He has lent two works from his substantial collection of Hirsts to the Tate.”
A call to MOCA to confirm this yesterday was not immediately returned.
It seems a little surprising that the artist’s collectors are not stepping up to bring the show to L.A., which would likely help secure Mr. Hirst’s place in the history books–and the long-term value of their pieces. (To name one possible donor: hedge fund director Steve Cohen, the owner of the artist’s iconic Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, which features a shark in formaldehyde, and who recently became a board member at MoCA.)
Split among the numerous lenders to the exhibition or those with vested interest in the artist (the Mugrabis, for example), even some figure a bit above $3 million seems a small price to pay to ensure a lasting investment in artist whose long-term position is, at best, uncertain.