Downward Mobility

Hirst's Pink Slips

In September, as Lehman Brothers was exploding, Damien Hirst auctioned off $200 million of his art. That might seem to indicate immunity from the recession, but possibly not: The artist is laying off 17 of the 22 workers he employs to make his drug cabinet series, and three more who make his butterfly paintings. A spokesperson for Hirst said the layoffs were due to the fact that the artist is discontinuing those series, but a source tells the Telegraph that "It was unexpected, especially after Hirst made a killing from the Sotherby's sale." Earlier this month, Hirst admitted that his work was overpriced and looked forward to selling it at cheaper rates.