Peter Doig, Country Rock (Wing Mirror) (1999). Peter Doig, Country Rock (Wing Mirror) (1999).

 

The world record price was set in during the Sotheby's 2008 sale "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" in London when Golden Calf, a dead cow in formaldehyde, fetched £10.3 million ($17.3 million). Not only was the sale groundbreaking due to the record but Hirst had, causing much of stir, taking a full show, over 24o new works, directly to the auction house to be sold. Thereby bypassing any gallery or dealer's cut of the sale. The sale also exceeded all expectations and broke the record for a one-artist sale at $198 million. Hirst career was launched by Charles Saatchi out of the Young British Artists (YBAs) movement, along with the likes of Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas, he won a Turner Prize in 1995 and turned down the British Council's invitation the be the UK's representative at the 1999 Venice Biennale. His ease in breaking industry-rules paired with business savvy has led him to become the richest living artist in the United Kingdom.

Damien Hirst, The Golden Calf, 2008. Glass, gold, gold plated stainless steel, silicone, calf and formaldehyde solution with Carrara marble plinth. 3989 x 3505 x 1676 mm | 157.1 x 138 x 66 in Damien Hirst, The Golden Calf, 2008. Glass, gold, gold plated stainless steel, silicone, calf and formaldehyde solution with Carrara marble plinth.
3989 x 3505 x 1676 mm | 157.1 x 138 x 66 in

 

So who is Peter Doig in comparison to the art-world maverick Hirst? The painter set the British record for his painting The White Canoe, which sold for £5.7m in 2007 (nearly £5m less than Hirst's record the next year). Doig's prices at auction have however steadily been on the rise, with records broken twice in the last two years: The Architect’s Home in the Ravine (1991) sold for £7.7m in London in Feb 2013 and Road House (1991) for $11,925,000 (£7,035,750) in New York in May. Hirst's prices have been on the downfall, but that is besides the point and is positioned at number 10, with a value sold of $94.333.108,  on Arnet's list of the top 100 living artists. Doig comes in at 16, with a value sold value of $64.866.912  and none of the artists between the two are British which "would indeed put the pair neck-to-neck" concludes Artnet. Although the piece, Country Rock (Wing Mirror), depicting a rainbow tunnel that Toronto commuters have been exposed to since it was first painted by Norwegian “guerrilla mural artist” B.C. “Berg” Johnson in 1972, is an important and magnificent piece Doig's sale price would have to increase with another $5.5m to break the record.

Francis Bacon. Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer (on light ground), 1964. Francis Bacon. Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer (on light ground), 1964.

 

For a larger perspective it is worth mentioning that the much talked about Francis Bacon, Three Studies of George Dyer is also included in the sale at Sotheby's, London on June 30th and is estimated at £10-20m ($24,115,50032,154,000).

See more Peter Doig on Barnebys here.

See more Damien Hirst on Barnebys here.

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