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Sotheby’s auctioneer Oliver Barker wields the gavel with Biblical élan at Damien Hirst’s "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" auction at Sotheby’s London on Sept. 15, 2008
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ART MARKET WATCH


Sept. 16, 2008

HIRST RULES CONTEMPORARY MARKET
Despite the grim predictions of many art-market kvetchers and Cassandras, the two-day auction of 223 lots of artwork by Damien Hirst at Sotheby’s London on Sept. 15-16, 2008, "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever," was a smashing success. All but five of the lots sold for a total of £111,464,800 ($200,752,179), edging above the presale high estimate of £98.6 million. "The market is bigger than anyone knows," said Hirst himself after the sale (via press release). "I love art and this proves I’m not alone and the future looks great for everyone!" The artist reportedly followed the evening sale electronically while playing snooker.

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