Martin Creed Investing Guide: Better Than Hirst?

Martin Creed is a contemporary British artist, perhaps best known for his Turner Prize winning work Work No. 227: The Lights Going On and Off (2000), which is an installation consisting of a room with a single light bulb turning on and off at regular intervals. Creed often uses everyday materials and repetitive and simple gestures to create his artwork, incorporating a wide range of mediums to create sculptures, installations, musical compositions, paintings, and performances. One of Creed’s most notable performance works Work No. 850 (2008), also known as The Runner, enlisted athletes to run as fast as they could through the galleries of the Tate Britain museum in London.

Buy Martin Creed. Courtesy of Centro Botín
Martin Creed performing live at Centro Botín art centre

Although his most renowned works may not be ideal for everyday art investors, collectors have the option to acquire his paintings, prints, and other editions, many of which are equally simple and delightful as his most famous pieces. His Step paintings/prints are a prime example.

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A selection of Martin Creed’s Step Paintings

Creed, like Damien Hirst, could be said to make ‘dumb’ art. However, Creed’s work is far more enjoyable, better conceptualized, better executed, and more aware of how silly it can be. Creed’s artwork can still be extremely expensive, but he is generally cheaper than Hirst and and a few other British Blue-Chips, including Tracey Emin. At present, his record price is approximately $160K, which is relatively low for a Blue-Chip artist of his caliber and global appeal. Small original artworks by Creed can still be acquired for hundreds (if you get in quick) and the low thousands of dollars/pounds, which are incredibly comfortable sums for beginner investors.

Martin Creed unique editions from

Creed’s relative affordability is also beneficial for beginner investors because it leaves ample room for price appreciation. Creed is yet to achieve the ridiculous auction results that the likes of Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, or Jeff Koons frequently do. Yet, he is still a solidly Blue Chip artist with solid sales results. In part i believe his prices are generally lower because he makes a concerted effort to not price the every-man out. Yet, you can only fight against market forces for so long and I would be confident to pick Creed’s investment value to appreciate at a good pace over the next ten to twenty years for three reasons:

  • First, as the general public sheds its “but is it art?” attitude towards conceptual art, the growing awareness and appreciation of Creed’s work, particularly among millennial and gen-z art collectors, could push up the prices of his conceptual and intangible artworks, as well as the cheaper works that we are interested in collecting.
  • Second, Creed appeals more to pure art lovers than to art investors, so his works do not re-enter the market as frequently as those of other Blue-Chip artists, which helps to suppress supply and increase prices.
  • Finally, Creed is slowing down his pace of producing and releasing artwork as he gets older. While he is still producing plenty, it may not be enough to meet growing demand, thereby pushing up prices.
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Martin Creed, Work No. 628: Half the air in a given space, 2007, Museum Voorlinden


Martin Creed

Untitled 1, 2011
Xerox print, Signed
Limited edition of 50

Damien Hirst

Black Heaven, Nite Time,
Giclee Print
Limited edition of 55

Marc Quinn

Kashi Sunrise Lotusa, 2020,
Silkscreen Print
Limited edition of 150