Enfant terrible of the Young British Artists, Damien Hirst continues to blur the boundaries between artist and business mogul. With his so-called ”art factory” driving the size of his output, Hirst has established himself as one of the most prominent figures in the Contemporary Art world. Hirst remains a prolific force today, which is reflected in the significant value growth of his secondary print market over the last 24 months.
Download The Print Report: The Market's Most Wanted In 2023 to delve into expert viewpoints regarding the market trends fuelling Damien Hirst's blue chip status and enduring value in 2023.
Thanks to Hirst's ever-expanding body of work, the YBA's secondary print market has increased in size by 143% since 2017. The average selling price of Hirst's prints has steadily increased by 25% in the last five years. Hirst is the aficionado of controversy in the Post-War & Contemporary Art market, and continues to be a desirable investment as we enter 2023.
Here are Hirst's top 10 performing prints in 2023:
The complete set of H9 The Virtues sold at Phillips (London) in June 2023 for £101,600 (fees included) and is Hirst's top selling print work for 2023. 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 average selling price for a complete set is £75,350.
In January, Hirst's artwork All You Need Is Love Love Love (2009) sold for £61,126 (with fees) at Bonhams setting a new auction record and positioning itself as the second top performing print in 2023. This signed screenprint, part of a limited edition of 50, is 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.
Part of Hirst's Spots series, these pieces, despite controversy, continue to be highly coveted in the market. In our In-Demand 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.
In Hirst's Spots series, Ellipticine (2007) features nine rows of meticulously spaced, multicoloured dots. These pieces are quintessential to Hirst's artistic legacy and have become increasingly scarce in 2023. Last seen in 2020, this artwork resurfaced in September at Christie's as an Artist Proof, fetching £32,760 (with fees). This marked a significant surge in sales value, almost doubling the amount from 2020 and establishing a new auction record for this print.
In 2023, Hirst's Spots series, exemplified by Cocarboxlyse (2010), has unquestionably been in high demand. This artwork, featuring larger dots arranged in a 4 by 4 display, fetched £28,980 (with fees) and secured its position among Hirst's top-selling prints for 2023. Making its auction debut this year, Cocarboxlyse set a new standard for the value of this particular piece. The continued impact of Hirst's Spots series will be closely monitored as we move into 2024.
Crafted in 2022, The Empresses stands as one of Hirst's earliest print series. Comprising five butterfly square compositions in a rich crimson tone, this collection was released both as a print and an NFT through HENI editions. Each piece is titled after different historical and cultural periods, emanating an exotic and magical aura through ornate patterns and the deep hue. While individual prints from this series have widely circulated the market, complete sets, much like those of his pop art peers, are highly coveted. In 2023, the complete set of The Empresses was sold for £27,940 (with fees), solidifying its position among Hirst's top-selling works in 2023.
H6-4 Goodness (2019) is part of The Aspects series, showcasing Hirst's fascination with butterflies as a universial motif and his innovative use of them as a medium, highlighting the mesmerising kaleidoscope patterns they create. This specific artwork exudes symmetry, featuring a palette of rich blue tones including cobalt, turquoise, navy and sapphire. In September, this print was sold for £19,050 (with fees), securing the eighth spot among Hirst's top print sales for 2023.
Created during the 2021 Covid lockdown, The Virtues series are imbued with a celebratory aura of Cherry Blossom trees, Japan's national flower, in bloom. Each print in the series derives its title from the Japanese 'Eight Virtues of Bushidō,' a moral code for samurai. Reflecting Hirst's continued theme of life and death, these trees symbolise the cycle of growth, flowering, falling, and rebirth, echoing themes of mortality. Highly popular on the market, these pieces compete fiercely at auctions. H9-Justice (2021) set a new auction record, selling for £27,177 (with fees) at a Tokyo auction in January, showcasing Hirst's global influence and earning its place among his top-selling prints for 2023.
Hirst's Spots series continues its dominance in 2023, with Diacetoxyscirpenol (2005) standing among his top-selling prints. Unlike the vibrant multicoloured dots, this artwork features a subdued monochrome palette. It fetched £26,317 (with fees) in April, solidifying its position in the market.
Track live demand in works from our artist's portfolios and view access to the works you're looking for.