Damien Hirst Does Deckchairs, Again

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From 2006 to 2008, London’s Royal Parks Foundation ran a project called Deckchair Dreams, which offered deckchairs by artists, architects, chefs, filmmakers, and fashion and industrial designers for use in the city’s eight Royal Parks and for sale in limited editions to benefit the Foundation’s mission of maintaining the public grounds. Some 70 cultural practitioners responded to the theme of “rare and wonderful things of the Royal Parks” by creating innovative sling designs, and in 2007 Damien Hirst contributed one that incorporated his signature butterfly motif.

The Hirst chair, which was produced in a limited edition of 250 and priced — along with the others — at $125 plus postage, quickly sold out. A year later, a savvy buyer capitalized on his purchase by selling the chair at a summer auction at Christie’s New York for $10,625. Now Hirst himself is profiting from his charitable contribution by offering the same deckchair in an unlimited edition in six new colors at his Other Criteria shops in London and New York for $425.

Does Hirst really need the money? After all, he made more than $200 million selling his own work at auction at Sotheby’s London in the fall of 2008. Wouldn’t it be more supportive to offer the proceeds from this new series of chairs to the Royal Parks Foundation, which actually conceived the original project? Even though Hirst’s deckchair is visually appealing and undoubtedly a product of value, there are still plenty of equally attractive designs by celebrated artists — including Peter Blake, Gary Hume, Blek le Rat, and Marc Quinn — in limited editions available on Deckchair Dreams’ website.

View a selection of Damien Hirst’s new deckchairs and our favorites from Deckchair Dreams below.

Damien Hirst’s Red Deckchair, 2008. Merpauh timber frame and sailcloth fabric. 30 1/2 x 47 7/8 x 23 inches. Unlimited edition. © Damien Hirst and Other Criteria. Photo courtesy of Other Criteria

Damien Hirst’s Yellow Deckchair, 2008. Merpauh timber frame and sailcloth fabric. 30 1/2 x 47 7/8 x 23 inches. Unlimited edition. © Damien Hirst and Other Criteria. Photo courtesy of Other Criteria

Damien Hirst’s Blue Deckchair, 2008. Merpauh timber frame and sailcloth fabric. 30 1/2 x 47 7/8 x 23 inches. Unlimited edition. © Damien Hirst and Other Criteria. Photo courtesy of Other Criteria

Marc Quinn, Blek le Rat, and Gary Hume's Deckchair Dreams designs

Paul Morrison, Keith Tyson, and Peter Blake's Deckchair Dreams designs