Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The jack-o-lattern pictured below reminded me of another riff on Damian Hirst's hundred-million-dollar skull. When "For The Love of God" was exhibited earlier this year at White Cube Gallery, another artist left a replica of the bedazzled skull (made with 6,522 Swarovski crystals) in the trash outside of the gallery. Reports of the project identify the artist only by her first name (Laura) and there was no word on how long the piece survived before someone made off with it.

The notion that you might stumble across valuable work in a dumpster is not unthinkable. A 1970 painting by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo that was found in the trash four years ago in the upper West Side of Manhattan is being auctioned off at Sothebys next month. It is expected to fetch upwards of a million dollars.

Hirst's own work has also found its way into the garbage. In October of 2001 a 54 year old janitor working at the Eyestorm gallery in London came across an array of empty beer bottles, cigarette butts, torn newspapers, partially eaten sandwiches, and candy wrappers. "I sighed because there was so much mess," he said. "So I cleared it all in bin bags, and I dumped it. I didn't think for a second that it was a work of art.”

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