Damien Hirst: Artist Market To Watch

Sheena Carrington
written by Sheena Carrington,
Last updated17 Jan 2024
All You Need Is Love Love Love by Damien Hirst - MyArtBroker All You need Is Love Love Love © Damien Hirst 2009
Jasper Tordoff

Jasper Tordoff, Specialist[email protected]

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Damien Hirst

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In 2023, Damien Hirst, the renowned YBA artist, continued to embrace his hallmark “Shock Factor.” He introduced The Beautiful Paintings in March, generating a $20 million payday. During the summer, Phillips showcased his Where The Land Meets The Sea, and Gagosian exhibited The Secret Gardens Paintings at Frieze London 2023. Despite criticism for being cautious, Hirst's self-branded intensity persisted, ensuring his ongoing success and media presence. This comprehensive market report offers a retrospective analysis of Hirst's 2023 market performance, his most investable prints and market trends, complete with market figures and data-driven insights into his performance.

Discover Hirst's dominant presence in the 2023 art market in The Art Investment Report. Explore the most investable prints from Hirst's trending series on the MAB100 Print Market Index.

Unleashing The Shock Factor: Damien Hirst in 2023

Damien Hirst is an artist who is never far from the spotlight and has been rewriting the rules of art marking since first discovered by marketing mogul and renowned contemporary art collector Charles Saatchi. Although certain news headlines can damage an artist’s market, the more controversial or bizarre the news headings read, seem to work in Hirst’s favour.

Hirst and Heni: The Currency (2022) and The Beautiful Paintings (2023)

Last year in October 2022, Hirst made headlines amongst all art and news publications, including TheArtNewspaper, as he commenced the final stage of his NFT project, The Currency, launched in 2021 in collaboration with HENI. In his London gallery, Hirst began burning his original artworks for those who opted to trade a physical piece of art for a Non-Fungible Token (NFT).

As the art market entered 2023, it wasn’t long before Hirst made headlines again as he ingeniously continued dismantling the boundaries between tech & art. On the 31st of March, Hirst announced an additional collaboration with HENI, The Beautiful Paintings, which returns attention to his controversial yet worthwhile question, what determines the value of an artwork? Are artworks better served as an investment? Or a passion asset?

Learn more about the undeniable success of Hirst’s latest project with Heni here.

Furthermore, a truly uncanny coincidence with the launch announcement of The Beautiful Paintings, on the same date late in the evening, a woman reportedly lost control of her vehicle in Florida, driving her Rolls Royce into the back garden of hedge-fund manager and art collectors Steven and Lisa Tananbaum - crashing into a Damien Hirst sculpture titled, “Sphinx” (2017) knocking it off its plinth. The statue is valued at 3 million USD.

A calf suspended in formaldehyde in a gilt-gold edged box.Image © Sotheby’s Auction House/ The Golden Calf ©Damien Hirst 2008


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Damien Hirst: The Alchemist of Turning Art Into Commercial Success

New York Art Critic Jerry Saltz once referred to Damien Hirst as “the Elvis of the English art world”. Hirst is both an artist and a lucrative brand, which is phenomenal given the controversy that his art and exhibitions have provoked. For example, when Hirst first unveiled his giant shark, known to the art world as The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, at Saatchi Gallery in London, 1992, he became a sensation for his so-called “bad art”.

Hirst’s shock value did not end with animals floating in formaldehyde. He continued to disturb critics with memento-mori themed works including a human diamond-encrusted skull, works made with dead butterflies arranged on canvas, and mechanically produced spot paintings with a team of assistants. As each of his productions receive a certain amount of backlash, they also receive equal success. The first issue of Frieze magazine was published in 1991, and none other than one of Damien Hirst’s butterfly works was the front cover. Society seems quick to divulge what they don’t like, yet slower to admit what they do publicly. Whatever preference for Hirst’s works, they are undeniably astounding, which few artists manage to achieve.

Damien Hirst - The Beautiful Paintings © Damien Hirst & Heni 2023

Hirst & The NFT Art Market: Revolutionising Art Tech

Given the cooling of NFT sales in 2022, -10% from the previous year according to the UBS Art Market Report 2023, buyers are likely waiting to see what the rest of 2023 has in store for NFT sales. However, as we’ve seen with the recent success of The Beautiful Paintings, Hirst is a force to be reckoned with.

Also, without discounting the series title, these works are not paintings but Giclée prints/NFTs generated by AI. With this launch, Hirst has released yet another unique series of works that speaks to the current preoccupation with Art & Tech and simultaneously proves the appeal of his works as collectables and lucrative assets.

Commercialisation and Controversy: The Figures of Damien Hirst's Contemporary Art Market

Our latest Market reports lay out a comprehensive analysis of Hirst's public auction sales throughout 2023 highlighting his record sales, emerging series and rare to the market prints.

Download THE PRINT REPORT: THE MARKET'S MOST WANTED IN 2023 for in-depth insights into Hirst's print market, along with comprehensive analysis of market trends spanning the past five years.



While Hirst’s esteemed position in the art world remains unchallenged, this year has seen some changes in the reception of his print works. Hirst’s market, historically characterised by robust demand and impressive sales figures, appeared to undergo a period of adjustment. Such shifts are not uncommon in the art market, as collector preferences and trends evolve over time.

In the realm of Hirst’s prints in 2023, we observed a noticeable seasonal fluctuation, commencing the year with a strong Q1, reaching a peak of 110 prints by sales volume resulting in just over £1 million (hammer) in total sales, only to taper off as we approached Q4, concluding with 42 prints and just under £460,000 (hammer).

When considering the entire year, Hirst’s market reflects a healthy volume of 300 prints sold, amassing a hammer price sum of £2.4 million and a total realised revenue surpassing £3 million (with fees). Despite the descending quarterly trajectory, the average selling price (ASP) remained steadfast at £8,201, highlighting the enduring interest of collectors. It will be intriguing to witness how Hirst’s print market evolves and potentially revitalises itself in the years ahead, as his influence and innovative vision continue to shape the contemporary art scene.


Throughout 2023, Hirst’s artistic impact reverberated profoundly, eclipsing the traditional auction house landscape with his innovative collaborations - particularly those with Heni Editions. However, as we approached the end of the year, Q4 sales brought forth an emergence of works from his earlier, more formative years.

The Virtues

Hirst’s The Virtues series held the distinction of being his top-selling pieces, achieving £101,600 at Phillips in June Q2. The interest in this series and growing demand for complete sets were further demonstrated with a repeat success at Sotheby’s during the September Q3 auctions matching the same sales value. These artworks have continued to maintain their popularity, with individual print values currently estimated to range from £9,000 to £30,000.


Hirst’s Spots series also commanded significant interest, widely recognised for their precise gridded compositions featuring colourful and monochromatic circles. While these works have sparked controversy and varying opinions in the past, their prominence in sales throughout 2023 spoke to their appeal.

Methamphetamine (2004) realised $69,300 (USD) at Christie’s in April Q2. During September Q3 auctions, Doxylamine (2011), Ellipticine (2007), Cineole (2004), and Flumequine (2007), all achieved record-breaking results.

In Q4, nine more of these works were offered at auction, with Tetrahydrocannabinol (2004) emerging as the highest selling print, achieving $37,800 (USD) at Christie’s, marking the artwork’s second sale in 2023. Other noteworthy sales from this series included Valium (2000), which appeared in four auction sales in Q4, with the highest result reaching $17,920 (USD) at Bonhams Los Angeles.

The Last Supper

Another exciting highlight of Q4 was the complete set of Hirst’s The Last Supper (2000). Exceptionally rare in the market and representing Hirst’s inaugural print series, this collection reemerged for the first time since 2020 and was sold for $50,800 (USD) at Sotheby’s New York.

“Damien Hirst is the Elvis of the English art world, its ayatollah, deliverer, and big-thinking entrepreneurial potty-mouthed prophet and front man.”
Jerry Saltz


Hirst stands as one of the most accomplished multidisciplinary artists of his era. His print sales, a collector's favourite since the early 1990s, have played a significant role in fuelling his prosperous market during the past five years. 2023 witnessed the arrival of one of his most iconic series, the Spots series, which is a relatively rare occurrence. These pieces continued to excel even in a challenging economic climate, underscoring their desirability among collectors and highlighting Hirst's enduring influence.


H9 The Virtues (complete set)

The complete set of H9 The Virtues (complete set) (2021) sold at Phillips (London) in June 2023 for £101,600 (fees included). These works have proven widespread popularity since first released by HENI in February 2021. Single works from this series circulate the market in volume, but complete sets are highly sought after. Since the drop of this series, 18 complete sets have sold on the secondary market. The current ASP for a complete set is £75,350.


All You Need Is Love Love Love

In 2023, Hirst's artwork All You Need Is Love Love Love (2009) became one of his top-selling prints. This signed screenprint, part of a limited edition of 50, gained significance early in the year when it fetched £61,126 (fees included) at Bonhams in the United States solidfying a record price for this print. Inspired by universal themes of love, life, and mortality, Hirst incorporates butterflies within a striking heart symbol, representing both love and the fleeting nature of existence.



Methamphetamine (2004) is part of Hirst's Spots series, comprising a signed edition of 115. While Hirst's spot artworks have faced criticism for their perceived lack of artistry and assistant-driven production, the value of these artworks shines through their precisely crafted arrangement, giving them a distinct identity and serving as Hirst's unique signature. Each dot is perfectly spaced in even rows and columns, creating a precise pattern. Despite its controversial reception, this work has made only two appearances in the secondary market in 2023. It achieved a sale of £56,700 (fees included) in January, ranking it as the third top-selling print among Hirst's works this year.



Tetrahydrocannabinol (2004) also from Hirst's Spots series remains highly sought after in the market, despite controversy surrounding these pieces. In our Most Wanted Print Report, we delve into the world of branded artists and how their distinctive aesthetics have become their defining marks. The consistent sales of these artworks attest to the success of branded artists. This particular piece made a rare appearance at Christie's in April 2023, the first time since 2020, fetching £50,610 (including fees). This sale reflects an 84% increase in value from its previous sale in 2020 and stands among Hirst's top-selling pieces in 2023.


The Last Supper (complete set)

In October, Sotheby's showcased the complete set of The Last Supper (2000) by Hirst, marking an exciting highlight of 2023. These prints are exceptionally rare in the market and represent Hirst's first print series. This complete set made a comeback for the first time since 2020, fetching a remarkable £41,816, which was more than double the previous amount achieved in 2020

Jasper Tordoff

Jasper Tordoff, Specialist[email protected]

Interested in buying or selling
Damien Hirst?

Browse artworks
Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst

655 works

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