According to the London Evening Standard, Damien Hirst is planning to ‘democratize’ art by taking it to the high street with the opening of his first retail store. The original YBA has signed a 10 year lease on a shop in Marylebone that he plans to open this spring, selling artwork, T-shirts, postcards, plates and books featuring his work, as well as stocking pieces by up-and-coming artists including Michael Joo, Matt Collishaw and Thomas Scheibitz.
The store, which will have the same name as Hirst’s publishing company - Other Criteria - will be specializing in pieces such as a £250,000 18-carat gold charm bracelet featuring different types of pills as charms, a set of 12 plates decorated by the artist for £10,000, and a roll of Pharmacy wallpaper featuring rows of brightly coloured pills and tablets, on sale for a mere £1,000.
Hugh Allan, one of the directors of Other Criteria, said: “Art has to be experienced and the shop is where people can experience it in a democratic atmosphere rather than a West End gallery.”
Apparently Hirst hopes that this shop will be the first of a chain of stores, although that will probably depend on how many £25,00 plastic “Happy Head’ sculptures he’s intending on shifting. Not such democratic prices for a concept that is stretching the realms of ‘limited edition’ a little far.