Sep 15, 2011

PROFILE | Damien Hirst



Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007


Damien Hirst, in 1995 was quoted for saying “I always ignore money,” in a conversation with the Idler. Which is a bit of an outlandish statement to say coming from a man whose wealth 15 years later in the 2010 edition of the Sunday Times Rich List is valued at £215 million. Widely considered the richest artist alive, Hirst, has made an international headline name for himself through his visual art pieces.
Throughout his career Hirst took a lot of flak for his use of more then 100 workers between three factory workshops to create his works of art for him. One of the hired workers, Lauren Child, recounted Hirst's involvement while she was there:
I perhaps saw Damien three times in relation to what I was doing. It was an odd but brilliant job. Pretty much all I did was paint spots. I have no idea how many spot paintings I did, we kept no record, but we were pretty quick...
A different assistant, who prefers to remain anonymous, spoke about the frustrations of:
Being paid £600 to do a painting that would sell for £600,000.
There are more then just a couple of accounts pertaining to how Hirst interacted with his hired workers. Such as an account of Hirst firing an employee because his "pills weren't shiny enough." The starting pay for working with such an unforgiving person starts at £20,000, and hes looking.

In 2008, Hirst made headline news for selling his entire show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby's in London. The stars of the show, all submerged in formaldehyde, included a calf, tiger shark, zebra, and a "unicorn". The show pulled a lot of attention not only because it was Damien Hirst but because the pieces themselves were sold directly to the public, bypassing the gallery. Leaving Hirst with a nice pile of £111 million all to himself.

Hirst's 2009 show, that consisted of 25 hanging paintings all done by hand by Hirst entitled No Love Lost, Blue Paintings, was overall considered to be a total flop. With reviews calling his paintings amateurish and adolescent.

Damien Hirst, Legend, 2011

The all new pieces from Hirst, Legend and Myth, which depict two mythical creatures that have been partially dissected. The pieces Hirst said:
...were a continuation of his interest in the relationship between science and religion. "In a way science brings religion down to earth and to cut open mythical creatures and expose them as no different to mortal horses is somehow still magical. It's kind of like exploding a myth to make it real."
The pieces are said to be a continuation of his past formaldehyde works, but I'm just hoping the next rendition of animals in Hirst's work doesn't involve cutting up live animals in art galleries. 

With all the controversy surrounding him its a wonder how much longer the public will let him continue on with all his bullshit antics.

Damien Hirst, 2008, the Golden Calf
I can’t wait to get into a position to make really bad art and get away with it...

-Jacob Jones

1 comment:

  1. Damien Hirst is a more of an entrepreneur in my opinion than an artist. Like Andy Warhol, he is having other people create the works. However, he is still in control of the designs and the work created. There is a great demand for his work and he knows how to get enough work out there to make a great sum of money. I think doing this makes him a much more successful artist than those who cannot produce work as quickly.
    I wish you had gone on more about why he does what he does and if its entirely for show and shock or if it is something deeper.

    - Erin Davis

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