How much is Damien Hirst worth?

The latest Rich List published by The Sunday Times estimates British artist Damien Hirst’s for­tune at £200m ($388m)—up by £70m from 2007.

Although the newspaper subscribes to the notion that the artist has sold his diamond-encrusted skull, For the Love of God for £50m in the last year (when, in fact, the “investors” who own a stake in it include the artist himself and his dealer

Jay Jopling), The Art Newspaper understands that his fortune has been vastly underestimated by The Rich List. Sources close to the artist say that he is now

a US$ billionaire, making him worth more than

twice what The Sunday Times estimates.

Hirst presides over a network of studios and assistants which produce a vast amount of work. This is mostly sold in private, and therefore confidential, transactions. The true scale of the operation is unknown (to journalists). Hirst is believed to have produced around 200 butterfly paintings in 2007 alone—these can sell for several million dollars (a 2001 canvas made $2.3m at Phillips De Pury in New York last November). Hirst is also thought to produce multiple editions of all his greatest hits including his animals in formaldehyde. He is said to have sold a sculpture of seven sharks in formaldehyde, The Seven Deadly Sins, in Paris for $35m. n

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