Today’s Daily Telegraph had an interesting article by Charles Spencer about the current Damien Hirst retrospective at Tate Modern. To say he wasn’t impressed is an understatement. The full article is here but I feel some of Spencer’s statements deserve further exposure.
“… There’s a telling photograph of Hirst as a teenager, grinning dementedly next to the severed head of an old man in the anatomy department of Leeds University. He insists that his leer was a sign of his terror. In the context of this exhibition it looks more like the “eureka” moment when Hirst realised that he could make a fortune out of death….
“… He is a purveyor of cheap and nasty thrills rather than serious enlightenment…
“… There is also the question of how much of the work Hirst actually does himself and how much he leaves to assistants… Hirst is now little more than the proprietor of a money-spinning novelty factory … and his later pieces, with their gold and diamonds, seem like little more than vulgar bling for the tasteless super rich… Hirst ran out of inspiration a long time ago. What he hasn’t run out of are new ways of flogging modish tat to the gullible.”
So the questions which remain are:
1) Will Charles Spencer be on Damien Hirst’s Christmas card list this year?
2) If he is, will Damien go to W H Smith’s himself, or send one of his assistants?
3) Will Charles Spencer bother hanging the card on his tree or will the baubles be enough bling?
No illustration has been used in this blog. There is a discussion about Hirst and copyright here.