I had never really liked Damien Hirst, nor appreciated his “art”. Giant preserved shark in a vitrine? Diamond-studded skull? Nope, not art in my humble opinion. More like a massive piss take, catering to the artistic pretentiousness of the very wealthy who not always have the culture and education that one expects to go hand-in-hand with their wealth. If you are curious to see how the rich and dumb have affected the art world (for the worse), click here to watch Robert Hughes’ brilliant documentary, The Mona Lisa Curse.
The image above is that of one of the many spot paintings by Damien Hirst. I really like everything about them: colours, simplicity, and how they actually match my favourite necklace! Mwaahahahaaaa. [By the way, you can buy it here ;-)]
What I also like is the fact that Hirst only painted five spot paintings, claiming that he “couldn’t be fucking arsed doing it”, and that “the best person who ever painted spots for me was Rachel. She’s brilliant. Absolutely fucking brilliant. The best spot painting you can have by me is one painted by Rachel.” He also apparently told another painting assistant, who was leaving and asked for one of the paintings, to “‘make one of your own.’ And she said, ‘No, I want one of yours.’ But the only difference, between one painted by her and one of mine, is the money.” Not only is the whole story hilarious, but brilliantly honest and made me (a) warm up to Hirst and appreciate his way of producing art by way of a “factory” setup, akin to Andy Warhol’s or a Renaissance studio, and (b) produce a spot painting of my own:
Until March 17th, Gagosian Gallery, who represents Hirst (as well as Lichtenstein, Koons, Warhol, etc.) is holding the exhibition “Damien Hirst: The complete spot paintings 1986-2011” in its eleven gallery locations worldwide. A brilliant feature is that if you are lucky to visit all eleven galleries – and fill in the registration card – while the exhibition is taking place, you receive a signed spot print by Damien Hirst, dedicated personally to you.
NOTE: The images of the original spot paintings by Hirst and the registration card for the spot challenge, are from the Gagosian Gallery website.