The Ultimate Minted or Skinted?

Here at last is some good news for city execs under pressure, looking for an investment in fine art to shelter their hard earned cash….

In today’s climate, few could afford the £50million original, most missed out on the Sotheby’s £111million auction and many have credit which has finally crunched.

But fortunately Driftwood Gallery in Truro has come to their rescue, and proudly presents the ultimate "bling on a shoe-string" for the embattled collector.

In homage to Damien Hirst, the gallery, which was founded immediately next door to Damien’s restaurant on Ilfracombe’s harbour-side in North Devon, has commissioned a beautiful skull (fortunately not real) covered in exquisite diamonds (unfortunately also not real).

Made by the famous Jimmy Crystal of New York, the skull is in fact completely decorated in glittering Swarovski crystal.

Gallery owner Justin Easton explained that he had sold the work of Jimmy Crystal for a long time, usually in the form of jewellery and accessories, especially sun-glasses, all highly decorated with Swarovski crystal. Jimmy even makes sunglasses worn by Elton John, and as featured in Elton’s own store in Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas.
Jimmy will decorate anything with Swarovski crystals just as long as it stays still long enough, but he seemed to need a challenge, so when Damien’s diamond skull “For the Love of God” was unveiled, Justin immediately suggested a skull with crystals to him. He heard little in the way of response, but was astonished to find, months later as he entered Jimmy’s office in New York, the decorated skull grinning up at him.

I think Damien will enjoy the joke he said – after all he did pop into our North Devon gallery himself, and buy several pairs of Jimmy’s sun-glasses a little while back, and as the skull costs less than ten grand it is in fact cheaper than Damien’s prints of the real thing! There are only ten of these currently throughout the world so he’s hardly likely to lose much sleep over that, and we ourselves are delighted to have got hold of this one for display, as it is the only one in the UK. By the way, if you want one for Christmas you had better order soon, because they take a while to make as you might imagine with all those fiddly little crystals to set in place.

So for the gift for the collector who has everything, why not pop down to New Bridge Street where the sun never sets, and see the crown jewels of the art world (possibly) - or at least an affordable equivalent (affordable in city exec terms, that is!).

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