Pickling sharks and sheep is his business, and
business is good. Good enough to have enriched British artist Damien
Hirst sufficiently to plunge in as a buyer rather than a seller of art,
becoming the first visual artist ever to appear on ARTnews magazine's
annual list of the world's 200 most active art collectors.
The 2008 list -- the 18th compiled by the New
York publication -- was based on interviews with collectors, dealers,
auctioneers, museum directors, curators and art consultants.
L.A. collectors on the list are Eli and Edythe Broad, Maria and William
Bell Jr., Michael Crichton, David Geffen, Cindy and Alan Horn, Peter
Norton, Judy and Michael Ovitz, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, and Dean
With nine collectors, L.A. tied the San Francisco Bay Area as the
world's fourth-ranked metropolis for art world high-rollers. New York
had 34, London had 14 and Paris had 10. Of the 200, 107 make their
primary homes in the United States. Collectively, buyers have been
shelling out enough for ARTnews to dub this "the age of the 'I don't
care' bidder. They don't care what a work of art costs as long as they
get what they want."
By Mike Boehm
For The Los Angeles Times