In London, a sale of pieces by provocative British artist Damien Hirst has raised more than US $125 million. According to Sotheby's, the sale smashed the $20 million record for an auction of works by a single artist, set in 1993 for 88 works by Pablo Picasso.
The most successful of the “Young British Artists” who rose to prominence in the 1990s, Hirst is well known for his shocking works representing death and decay, such as pickled animals, rotting cows’ heads, and diamond-encrusted skulls.
“The Kingdom,” a tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde, sold for US $17 million, and “The Golden Calf,” an embalmed calf with golden hooves and horns, fetched US $18.5 million.
“Fragments of Paradise,” a confection of stainless steel, glass and created diamonds, sold for close to $9.4 million, which was five times higher than its pre-sale estimate.
Two of Hirst’s butterfly paintings, sold for charity, fetched in excess of US $2.9 million.