Damien Hirst, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
Jeff Koons was at one time the living artist whose work had sold at the highest price, $23 million for one of his Hanging Hearts. Since then Lucien Freud sold a piece for over $33.6 million and Damien Hirst is, cynically to my mind, asking for $100 million for one of his diamond covered crystal skulls (people say diamond “encrusted” but let’s just call it diamond covered). Diamond Skull called For the Love of God
Hirst went from great stuff like these sometimes bi(tri)sected gross animals:
…Away From the Flock from the “Natural History” series.
Which an artist-vandal modified: Black Sheep once dye is added.
…and the Spot Paintings.
About the Spot Paintings he said that he “only painted five spot paintings himself because, ‘I couldn’t be fucking arsed doing it’; he described his efforts as ‘shite’—’They’re shit compared to … 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.’”
Here is one reinvention for charity of a spot painting with the background having the dual advantage of having as its subject the coolest car ever made, the Citroen DS, and the fact that the car was painted by the bassist from The Clash: here
One for £1.05 or the Mars lander version
He once even sued himself for breach of copyright, which is a great thing for an artist to do.
Finally, he has settled on things like 25 years worth of rehashing the spot paintings, the crap Swarovsky crystal skull and this painting, which he found in the corner of his studio under some old sheets of plexiglass and has decided to recycle (I suspect he secretly painted it in his first year of college).
Versions of Hirst work by others:
The spot paintings have been modified by all kinds of folks, including Banksy here and here
Here is a version of a Spot Painting from someone who is not a fan.
One of the many pastiches of The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living: David Černý, Shark, with Saddam Hussein.
And Seapig (inflatable toy shark shark) by Dave Murray http://davidamurray.net/sharkL.html
More riffs on the Hirst Swarovsky skull theme if you scroll down a bit: http://search.it.online.fr/covers/
Hirst’s work as versions of others’
Dot painting, François Morellet, 1954
Dot painting, Vera Molnar, 1955
Some related artists and articles:
cartяain: If the art weren’t so amateur I would think that he and Hirst were in on the whole thing.
The K Foundation, Burn a Million Quid (£1,000,000)
It seems likely that they did not actually burn the money but that’s not the point. They have also made a number of (deliberately bad) rip-off Hirst pieces which they have sold as a provocation to Hirst. I like artists who react to the way a segment of the art world seems to value money as the highest consideration - these guys have a certain perspective and a desire and ability to spend money on making a unique critique.
Here is Hirst reinforcing the value of a piece of art as whatever it can sell for as opposed to its value as an art object: http://www.economist.com/node/16990811
The Mugrabi family of art collector-dealers driving up the price of Hirst’s work
Robert Hughes right on the money and artfully interviewing Alberto Mugrabi
Hirst plagiarism claims and The Art that Damien Hirst Stole
And finally, on the topic of all the 11 Gagosian Galleries in the world getting a bunch of Hirst spot paintings back from their owners for a big retrospective:
"I’m going to lay this down, just to clarify, so that nobody from the future gets confused: we hate this shit. Everyone hates this shit. These spots reflect nothing about how we live, see, or think, they’re just some weird meme for the impossibly rich that nobody knows how to stop."
A nice Hirst biography here