On judging the art market by looking at auctions:

This approach is the art-market equivalent of the drunk man looking for his keys under the lamppost, just because that’s where the light is, even though he has no particular reason to believe that they’re there. To judge [Damien] Hirst’s fortunes by looking at his auction results is to completely miss just how successful he has been over the past decade…Hirst has built an extremely pure and effective business; it’s just not visible in the way that public auctions are.

—Felix Salmon in a great piece in The New Yorker