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Wheeling and dealing

Will Gompertz | 10:34 UK time, Tuesday, 24 August 2010

This caught my eye. Just out from Other Criteria, the publishing-cum-art-merchandising company, founded in 2005 by Damien Hirst, Hugh Allan and Frank Dunphy.

Damien HirstIt's a stainless-steel 4x4 wheel cover adorned with a Damien design, which as part of an unlimited edition could be yours for £900. That's a bit pricey given that these people will create a cover with your own personalized, unique, artwork on for under £200. But then the likelihood is that you, unlike the Leeds legend, are not one of the most significant artists of your generation.

Anyway, price is not the point; it's the medium. Damien is a man blessed with both artistic talent and business acumen. And good timing. As the hammer came down for a final time at his record-breaking sale at Sotheby's in London on Tuesday 16 September 2008, Lehman Brothers were filing for bankruptcy and thus precipitating a global credit-crunch.

Which means there must be something behind his idea of making an artwork for rear-mounted 4x4 spare wheels. Never a booming market, I would have thought - and one I imagine shrinking now as popular models such as Land Rover's Discovery have removed the spare from the back door. The Suzuki Jimmy still has a rear-mounted spare wheel, but are Jimmy drivers Hirst fans?

So what does Damien know that we don't? I wouldn't be surprised if Ford announces a radical redesign of its best-selling Focus model in the next few months that features a rear-mounted spare wheel.



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