Las Vegas hotel makes Hirst story - for $100,000 a night
Controversial artist is laughing all the way to the bank after his latest project at The Palms Resort & Casino
For many he represents everything that’s wrong with the art world in the era of late-capitalism excess. A once-edgy, angry, anti-consumerist member of the loosely aligned Young British Artists group of the early 1990s who swiftly rose to prominence, commanded exorbitant prices and produced what many see as crassly commercial pieces that fetch record prices and have turned him into a multimillionaire.
Perhaps this image of Damien Hirst was most evident in the outcry in 2007 when a diamond-encrusted skull he produced was sold for $111m. For those opposed to the rampant commercialisation of the art world Hirst is probably only hated slightly less than his US counterpart Jeff Koons.
If you thought Hirst had contented himself with being the richest UK artist and decided to embrace a more moderate, less crassly commercial approach, think again.
His latest project has just been unveiled at The Palms Resort & Casino in the capital of glittery materialism, Las Vegas. It’s a luxury hotel suite designed by the artist that you can have the pleasure of staying in for just $100,000 a night.
The suite is decorated with familiar tropes from Hirst’s oeuvre including a shark suspended in formaldehyde, oversized pills, skulls and butterflies. It has two master bedrooms, its own pool, several lounges, and can accommodate 50 people according to a recent Bloomberg report. Hirst designed and selected every aspect of the suite, from the textiles to a 12-seater bar cheekily titled “Here for a Good Time Not a Long Time” and a cabinet filled with cubic zirconia gems.
The suites at the Palms, designed by architects Bentel & Bentel and part of a recent refurbishment that added art works by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Takashi Murakami, are now some of the world’s most expensive.
It seems Hirst has no intention of dialling down on his excesses anytime soon. If love him, you’ll love this, and if you hate him, you might just lay out the $100,000 just to spit on his marble finishings – either way he’s laughing too hard on his way to the bank to care.