Damien Hirst's former business manager puts art collection up for sale
Art Business

Damien Hirst’s former business manager puts art collection up for sale

The fruits of a lucrative friendship between the artist Damien Hirst and his formidable former business manager Frank Dunphy, forged in the smoky small hours at the Groucho club in Soho, will be displayed before an auction at Sotheby’s in September of Dunphy’s personal art collection, which includes many gifts from Hirst. Dunphy’s business acumen lay behind two auctions in the same premises that became art world legends. In 2004, the sale of the contents of the Pharmacy restaurant, for which Hirst had designed everything down to the matchbooks, and which Dunphy then scooped up as the restaurant was dismantled, made £11m. Four years later, Dunphy masterminded Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, an auction of works directly from Hirst’s studio , bypassing the gallery system. The timing was extraordinary: the sale was held over two packed days in September, just as the world’s banking system went into meltdown. The final auction total was £111.5m, a world record for a single artist sale, including £10.3m for The Golden Calf, one of Hirst’s trademark creatures in a tank of formaldehyde, but with 18-carat gold horns and hooves. Oliver Barker, the chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said: “Behind every great creative genius is […]

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