Fri 12 September 2008, Financial Times

The Midas touch that turns the art world lethally cold

By Jackie Wullschlager
What’s aught but as ’tis valued? Or, as Andy Warhol put it, “art is what you can get away with”. Damien Hirst, Warhol’s post-pop descendant, understands better than anyone how art and money have always needed each other. “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever”, his exhibition of 223 fresh pieces to be sold at Sotheby’s next week, announces a radical though insidious change in that relationship in the 21st century. A slap in the face for dealers – this is the first time an auction house has sold new work – Mr Hirst’s installation-performance is a landmark not just because it shows art being sold in a new way; it also shows it being made, and seen and understood, in a new way.