Damien Hirst’s Venice show, “Treasures of the Wreck of the Unbelievable,” is spread through two of Venice’s most palatial museums Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana with 189 pieces in bronze, marble, malachite, rock crystal, silver, gold, and more brought to life the legend of an (entirely fictional) 2nd-century collector, and his (entirely fictional) hoard of coral-covered sculptures and religious relics salvaged from an (entirely fictional) shipwreck in the Indian Ocean. Taking ten years and more than $65 million to create, and ending this Sunday, “Treasures” is in all likelihood the most extravagant and expensive show of work that a single artist has ever produced. Hirst plans on the collection having a long life. He’s already looking for a potential museum space somewhere — probably another port city — to house his entire set of “Treasures” artist’s proofs.
And at the end of November the exhibition has already generated sales of more than $330 million.