Just bought the Guardian and was a little feature on Hirst, thought you might be interested....
Recession reaches Hirst's studios
"He is one of the world's richest artists, who defied the credit crunch in September by auctioning a whole collection for £111m. But even Damien Hirst may not be immune to the economic climate - many of the workers who produce his works found themselves out of a job this week, the Guardian has learned.
On Thursday, up to 17 of the 22 people who make the pills for Hirst's drug cabinet series were told their contracts were not being renewed, according to two sources close to Science Ltd, Hirst's main art-producing company. Another three who make his butterfly paintings were also told they were surplus to requirements.
It is thought that amounts to approximately half of the London-based artists who work for Hirst. They are paid about £19,000 a year, sources said. In June 2007, Lullaby Spring, a cabinet filled with hand-painted pills, sold for £9.65m.
This year's Sunday Times Rich List valued the 43-year-old artist's wealth at £200m - but it was produced before September's sale at Sotheby's.
Yesterday Jude Tyrrell, a director of Science Ltd, confirmed jobs were going, but wouldn't be drawn on how many.
"As previously stated by Damien, he is finishing a number of bodies of works which is why temporary contracts (fixed term) have not been renewed. We have to be mindful of the current economic climate and how this may affect us in the future."
In July, Hirst said that he would stop making the spin and butterfly paintings, plus the medicine cabinets - a decision that was welcomed by many in the art world who worried about overproduction of these series.
But a source close to Science said that if the job losses were pre-planned, as indicated by Tyrrell's statement, the staff seemed unprepared for it on Thursday. "It was unexpected, especially after Hirst made a killing from the Sotheby's sale. The workers who will not have their contracts renewed can work their notice period into December, but I'm not sure how many will stay. They will need to find jobs quickly."
At Hirst's studio on Glengall Road in Peckham yesterday, where the pill cabinets and butterfly paintings are made, workers would not talk about the job losses. One woman, wearing the Hirst "uniform" of a red sweatshirt with a skull on the back of it (inspired by Hirst's £50m diamond sculpture For the Love of God), said she didn't know anything about it.
Another, at the Newport Street studio in Lambeth where the spot paintings are produced, said she had been told not to talk to the press.
Last week, Hirst admitted that art had probably become too expensive in recent years and said he welcomed the prospect of selling his work at cheaper rates in the present climate of recession."
Alas, no mention of the Cartrain aquisitions thogh.... ;D
just come back from the edinburgh art fair, saw a spin painting and my eyes locked onto it as i thought it was a hirst......................it was by an apprentice who used to produce these paintings for/alongside him. can't remember the guys name but it was priced at £3500.
for anyone who hasn't been i highly recommend going along tomorrow. there's a couple of nick walker canvases, v for vandal and a briefcase priced at 11,000 and 12,000 though the guys on the stand seems a bit up their own arse...
yeah its the nature of the beast i guess, because they are agreeing to it, and at the end of the day it's a bit like any kind of factory isn't it. it's like Ikea, they make millions but their staff don't get paid millions, they get paid whatever the going rate is. And to sit there day in day out painting pills isn't exactly the toughest job so 19k is probably a good salery for that!
...but having said all that, I still agree with all of your previous comments! Don't get me wrong, I'm not standing up for him!
Also I do think it's just because he's realised if he keeps making the same ol' works then they will decrease in value eventually and he will annoy those rich patrons he has right now, otherwise people who pay £3million for a work will end up annoyed if he devalues them himself by making too many of the same work. He's just looking out for himself, protecting his legend i guess.
Bought a Hirst last week from Other Criteria. When I saw this headline I thought they might have gone bust before I received my print. Sad to hear of job losses but Art is a business and it goes to show everyone's vulnerable.
I don't think Hirst is out on his own. Look at Banksy's Kate Moss and Soup Cans for starters. Most art is recycled in one form or another. Most nations would be proud to have the No1 Contemporary artist in the world. I guess it's the English way to be resentful of success.
I hear Hirst is just shipping all his dot paintings overseas to China and having political prisoner laborers do all the work! (probably arrested street artists formerly of Red Star Press Gallery) The best thing, is that through an exclusive agreement with the Chinese government, if any of his new underlings mouth off about wanting a painting of their own, he has the right to put them in formaldehyde!
£19,000 is well cheeky considering what they sell for.
I remember reading an article when one of hirst's spot painters asked for an original (signed of course) and was told to f**k off and make his own!
Her own....it was a girl. And no, he didn't give her one. He said that the only difference between one of his and one of hers was the signature. Which is true.
the Chapman bros have people building their dioramas for them...does this make them lesser artists...or is art the idea or is it the actual product. if you feel it is the latter then some of your early banksy prints would, in fact, belong to someone else.
And this factory closure has been in the offing for some time. Before the 'auction'.
Ref reproduction: it's called a theme. artists work through themes and phases. they're devices to get ideas out. some people overdo it and some don't.
Like him or hate him Hirst is a huge success, and thus his business & studio come in for huge scrutiny. Ultimtely this was all pretty much a non story, Hirst had made it clear that he was to stop production of the work he needed to employ staff for, and regardless of whether you agree with what he pid his staff nobody forced people to work for him. I imagine that most jumped at the chance of the experience and the money was secondary. Why should he continue to employ staff when he has no need for them? His success is not down to his ability to employ help, but on his concepts.
is it your belief that all artists should be poor and struggling in order to maintain credibility...or can they not, like everyone else in this so called free market economy, choose to commodify the one asset they have -- their art?
Finsbury: champions league your having. A laugh
May 19, 2013 20:40:25 GMT 1
Finsbury: Front wheels no show Hahnaahaahahahah
May 19, 2013 20:38:52 GMT 1
thebigboss: Forget Daft Punk, listen to Radio Soulwax - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6CJElDdzvg
May 16, 2013 13:18:21 GMT 1
May 16, 2013 12:28:22 GMT 1
258: im after vna's 8, 9 & 11, does anyone know anyone selling them? cheers
May 16, 2013 10:21:30 GMT 1
siankisses: [br]FOR SALE – thegiant.org/wiki/index.php/Guns_and_Roses_Offset - signed,numbered 135 of 750. black mount & black gallery frame, purchased from Artrepublic in 2007. I am looking for £350 or a sensible offer. Buyer to collect from London, SE1.
May 15, 2013 10:57:47 GMT 1