Reactor

Is Damien Hirst Lazy?

by Hrag Vartanian on January 24, 2012

From the Vandalog street art blog:

Laurence Billiet sent over this photo of a piece she spotted in Paris, referencing Damien Hirst’s spot paintings.

The lettering and style is remarkably well done. It’s like Lawrence Weiner, Ben Eine and Hirst had a threesome and this would be their love child. No word who the artist is yet.

Spots in Beverly Hills (via Animal NY)

And in other strange Hirst-related news. Marina Galperina blogs a I think she went in stoned post for Animal NY about her ‘trip’ to the Hirst spot show at Gagosian’s Beverly Hills outpost:

Minutes passed and giddiness ebbed and so did that initial, familiar choke-up of Hirst-induced vomit. I waited for the dizzying, perception-altering sensations almost all art critics mentioned mid-rant last week. There they kind of were. Each dot sprouted a thin, jittery aura, begging for order. My eyes played Whack-a-Mole, looking for the reddest, the greenest, all the red, all the pink as the rest vibrated eclipsed in black, the lightest dissolved away, the darkest charred holes and the pattern blistered with an electric shadow of itself. It was sharp, like a knife, stabbing the squeaky white halls until varied-colored dots bled out, uniformly. They looked just like peeling stickers, sliding off the canvas edge, which was particularly dangerous for the giant, me-sized dots on the canvas behind me. I sailed to the back and the dots didn’t get bigger — I got smaller. I don’t know if Hirst had consciously pre-programmed this brain-play. Maybe? Being exhibited together in a gallery — like in a kind of two-dimensional alien zoo — the spot paintingsdid gain something in comparison to each other. Something or other.

… “I want to climb them,” my friend roared at the giant ones, and as I got ready to scoff, I saw a small herd of children frolicking about, a mother snagging a tiny giggly one away just as she was about to paw that big circle, the circle looking so juicy and so tasty. The kid got it! Wait. Did I just get it? Were these… nice?

Thank Darwin for medicinal marijuana in California, right?

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  • Zack Alan

    wow. I saw the ones at gagosian LA last saturday – she MUST’VE been high. god only knows, it would have helped those paintings tremendously !!!

    • http://twitter.com/mfortki Marina Galperina

      It was a temporary remedy.

  • http://jdsiazon.wordpress.com JD Siazon

    Marina’s stoner writing takes away from what might have been an interesting review seeing that she somewhat enjoyed the show.  If art critics want to chip away at Hirst’s status the sarcasm needs to end.

  • http://twitter.com/erskinestudio Nanci Erskine

    lazy or crazy…like a fox

  • http://twitter.com/harryhancock Harry Hancock

    I was expecting more analysis of the show. The stoned description is all very well, but we all know Hirst isn’t really about the experience of the work, I don’t think he even sees most of them.

    The issue is that in the current art climate, many artists feel that they are free to do ANYTHING, and take it on trust that the experience is an aesthetic one. It doesn’t matter because most art critics are stoned or deluded in one way or another and they will find some way of enjoying the experience and then implying that this is what the art is supposed to do.

    I am willing to bet that most people (critics and art writers included) have never had a genuinely aesthetic experience in front of a piece of art.

    • http://jdsiazon.wordpress.com JD Siazon

      The issue is that we need better arts journalists writers who are great literary figures in their own right.  But unfortunately only two kinds of arts journalism is happening, wordplay and gossip.

  • Den Hickey

    Lazy?  Perhaps, but who really cares?  He has become incredibly boring these days.  His work was always pretty shallow and the patina of the new and the novel has long worn away.

  • Micheal Cor

    I went to the Damien Hirst show today and I think The show was really good.  Damien Hirst is about the experience of the work!  you don’t suspend a shark in formaldehyde if you aren’t concerned with the experience of the work, and you don’t stretch a canvas that is approx. 18 feet high if you are not interested in experiencing a canvas 18 feet high.

    This isn’t to say That Hirst might not be concerned about more aspects of art than the experience of a work.  He seems to also be concerned with the same culture that Warhol fell in love with.  The celebrity culture that we live in.  Olivier Mosset has been making abstract paintings as a cultural icon for years.  It is a factor of the world  that we live in and it is something that we experience.

    aesthetic experiences are not strictly about beauty they are also about context; The importance of an object is based on your current perspective and how an object affects you as a contemporary audience. If you don’t like the consumer quality of Damian Hirst or Gagosian than be mad about that, but wether he laboured over these paintings or not, they are good.  Besides, Isn’t the quality and labour conversation a bit out dated.  Pop art has come and gone – it isn’t really that controversial to have someone else do the work for you (look at Ai WeiWei’s sunflowers).  I recently saw an exhibition of Warhol’s Elizabeth Taylor paintings and they were incredible because of the quickness that went into making them and the subsequent variation in that series of paintings. Hirst, and Gagosian have taken the concept of Multiples and pushed it into the realm of an international spectacle by showing different versions of the same work in 15 international shows.

    The point is that these painting were great paintings (at least the show that was up at 522 west 21st street in Chelsea)  If you want an analysis of the show than give a criticism about the work instead of a broad and depressing overview of the visual arts today.  Hirst is making art about experiences. They are optical paintings!  Clearly paintings about perception and the above description of these paintings is a description of an aesthetic experience that the author had with the work.

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