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The artist is also an art collector

June 27, 2008|Mike Boehm

Pickling sharks and sheep is his business, and business is good. Good enough to have enriched British artist Damien Hirst sufficiently to plunge in as a buyer rather than a seller of art, becoming the first visual artist ever to appear on ARTnews magazine's annual list of the world's 200 most active art collectors.

The 2008 list -- the 18th compiled by the New York publication -- was based on interviews with collectors, dealers, auctioneers, museum directors, curators and art consultants.

L.A. collectors on the list are Eli and Edythe Broad, Maria and William Bell Jr., Michael Crichton, David Geffen, Cindy and Alan Horn, Peter Norton, Judy and Michael Ovitz, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, and Dean Valentine.

With nine collectors, L.A. tied the San Francisco Bay Area as the world's fourth-ranked metropolis for art world high-rollers. New York had 34, London had 14 and Paris had 10. Of the 200, 107 make their primary homes in the United States. Collectively, buyers have been shelling out enough for ARTnews to dub this "the age of the 'I don't care' bidder. They don't care what a work of art costs as long as they get what they want."

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