Estimated Worth: $1 Billion
Dear Damian Hirst's PR person and business manager,
Congratulations on not only making Damien Hirst the world's richest artist, but also making him the #1 Google search result when you type in #worldsrichestlivingartist.
P.S. The 2009 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Hirst's fortune to be $388 million, but apparently it's now over the billion mark in U.S. Dollars. In 2008, he raised $198 million by selling a complete show, "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever," breaking the record for a single-artist auction and solidified his rank in the art hierarchy as "Sell Out #1" by bypassing his galleries and going straight to Sotheby's auction block. And who can forget For the Love of God, 2007, the diamond encrusted platinum skull for $77.9 million? I know Kanye was crushed he didn't get it, as it would have complimented his Jesus piece to a T. Hirst has also been accused of relying heavily on assistants to create his works and has faced several plagiarism accusations, which goes to show, that an original idea for Hirst doesn't necessarily make for good sales.