Is the art market as dead as a pickled shark?

Remember the art market’s summer of love last year? Despite the credit crunch snapping at the heels of the world’s economies nobody in the art world spoke of bear markets, the only commodities anyone was interested in was artist Damien Hirst’s pickled shark market. Most of us couldn’t believe the hype, but it was really happening. On the same day that Lehman Brothers collapsed, Merrill Lynch was taken over and Japanese markets went into freefall, Hirst was realising a staggering US$163 million at a Sotheby’s sale of his work. The London auction seemed to symbolise a market that was defying the laws of economics, a seemingly defiant recession-proof brave new world. Before the auction a staggering 21,000 people queued up to stare in wonder at the artist’s pickled zoo of artfully arranged miscellaneous animals. Hirst had officially become the biggest living fish in the art world’s pool. To read the full story by Andy double click on the images above.

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