Skateboards: Hirst on wheels... yours for £1,200

Artist taps into the cool designer skateboard market, but the exorbitant prices he is charging have infuriated aficionados.

Damien Hirst, the UK's richest living artist, has incurred the wrath of skateboarders after announcing that he is selling designer decks for up to £1,200.

The move reflects a rapidly growing market where contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons, Richard Prince and Christopher Wool offer their artwork for use on skateboards.

But skateboarders believe Hirst is being greedy by charging exorbitant prices. They say that the cost is out of tune with the culture and philosophy of the sport, which is intended to be affordable and available to all.

Hirst previously designed and sold skateboards in 2009 for the clothing company Supreme. However, those boards sold for a more modest £80.

Rob Mathieson, an artist and skateboarder, said: "It seems to me he is just being very greedy. The Supreme boards in 2009 were cool, collectible things and people could buy them to use as a skateboard. Now the price just seems ridiculous. Why put the design on a skateboard? Why not just put it on a rectangular piece of wood if you are selling it as a piece of art?"

Mark Foster, owner of Heroin and Landscape skateboard companies, added: "It's just another one of those cases where people who don't have anything to do with skateboarding are using it to make themselves look cool. Damien Hirst has always done interesting work – but I've never seen him skating down at Stockwell or the South Bank, and he's not sponsoring anyone or putting anything back into skating."

The market for skateboard decks has risen dramatically. Damien Hirst has been spotted in New York, signing skateboards, thereby greatly increasing their value. At auction, boards have recently soared past their pre-sale estimates. In June 2010, a set of three Jeff Koons decks were sold for $3,500 (£2,150), well over the $1,500 to $2,500 estimates.

However, not all skateboarders say Hirst is cashing in. Nick Jensen, an artist and professional skateboarder, said: "Warhol made the Campbell's soup cans, which are mass-produced, functional, low-budget objects, into grandiose, desirable, high-budget ones. I think Hirst is making a similar point."

Damien Hirst was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen