But he’s at pains to point out that this “anti-art” is itself part of art. “Art has something which destroys its own cells,” says Kiefer. “Damien Hirst is a great anti-artist. To go to Sothebys and sell your paintings directly” – as Hirst did in 2008 – “is destroying art. But in doing it to such an exaggerated extent, it becomes art. I liked this action, the Sotheby’s sale, and the fact that it was two days before the crash made it even better.” In fact, Hirst’s auction, which netted £93m, and the collapse of Lehman Brothers happened at the same time, 15-16 September.