A life-sized platinum skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds weighing 1,106.18 carats was unveiled by artist Damien Hirst today in London.
"For the Love of God" is expected to fetch around $100 million and has already generated interest from two potential buyers, according to Tim Marlow, exhibitions director for the White Cube Gallery where the skull is to go on display.
According to Bloomberg, "Hirst...said he wasn't thinking of the newspaper headlines his $100 million skull would get when he set the price. His business skills were learned the hard way, he said. 'A lot of painful things happened to me. It's the oldest trick in the world to come in and say, 'I love it, can I have it?' and then flip it for a profit.' Some traders who buy Hirst works worry about how much he turns out at his factory-style studios. Hirst responds with an anecdote: 'I had a phone call from one of my galleries. He said, 'You're making too much. Do you have any more for me?'' The diamond-studded work, with an asking price more than triple that of any sculpture sold at auction in recent years, shows how artists reach for effects to draw sales in a crowded market, and how self-promotion is key to their success."
The skull cost Hirst $20 million to make.
The exhibit, "Damien Hirst: Beyond Belief", opens on June 3rd, and viewing of the skull is by ticket only. Information is available here."