This could be your new boss! (photo by Gazanfarulla Khan/Flickr)

This could be your new boss! (photo by Gazanfarulla Khan/Flickr)

Are you a photorealist painter? Are you looking for a full-time job? Are you based in (or willing to move to) London or Devon? Well you’re in luck because Damien Hirst, through his company Science UK Ltd., is hiring! A job posting on Guardian Jobs last week that closes today seeks multiple painters of the photorealist persuasion.

“Experience of working with oil paint necessary, good colour matching skills and attention to detail are essential for this position,” the posting explains. “This position is full time, fixed term and the location will be in either London or Devon.” The job listing promises a “competitive salary.”

Though he is best known for his formaldehyde-filled aquarium sculptures and boorish spot paintings, any aficionado of the Hirst oeuvre will tell you that photorealism has long been an essential component of his factory practice. Who, for instance, could forget his Fact Paintings series, which spanned 2002 to 2010 and includes images of classic Hirst tropes including butterflies, jewels, pills, and skulls rendered on canvases in exactingly precise oil brushstrokes?

Like Jeff Koons’ boosting production at his Pennsylvania stone sculpture facility, Hirst’s hiring spree suggests an imminent increase in output, but exactly what type of work these new photorealist minions will be tasked with churning out is anybody’s guess. If only the live studio feed that used to stream on his homepage still worked, we could watch over the new hires’ shoulders as they executed Hirst’s next line of paintings. Instead, we’ll have to line up outside Gagosian on opening night like everybody else — or not.

h/t artnet News

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...

28 replies on “Wanna Work for Damien Hirst?”

    1. What about Kehinde Wiley? At least Hirst will be employing artists in his own neighborhood and contributing to the system via taxes etc, unlike Wiley who has his paintings made in China.

    1. He’s not lazy. the reason he hires people is because he himself does not possess the skill set to do photorealistic paintings.

  1. I know it’s a complicated argument but I do think that when an artist gets to the point where they no longer physically produce their work it ceases to to be art and becomes commodity. If there really is the demand to buy a Hirst then why don’t people just get a print – it’s just the same really.

    1. I agree. But he can make more money if they are originals. and there’s a market for those.

  2. Remember one of the first things Da Vinci did when he moved
    his studio to France was find the best Draughts man in the world, yes not
    France or Europe and he also looked for painters and other skilled people. I am not sure if
    we can define art as the skill of painting only?

    1. Because in their simplistic, formulaic appearance, and overwhelming blandness I find them crude and offensive, and Hirst’s insistence on churning out a seemingly infinite number of them as if in an attempt to cover every available square foot of the earth in spots suggests the persistent insensitivity of a boor.

      1. thank you for your reply. and here i thought they were only dull. yet they are all originals, and they are all different. I imagine Hirst personally inspects them, for quality control, but perhaps he has hired someone to do that too. He has never really been an art-maker— he is a designer. I doubt he built his own shark tank. probably had it fabricated. I don’t remember where he obtained the first shark, but i know he paid someone to catch subsequent sharks. and why attempt to set diamonds into a skull when you can pay a skilled professional to do so? Now his oeuvre is limited only by his imagination. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Maybe his artistic dream was to build an empire. can’t fault him for being ambitious…………..

        1. …”Now his oeuvre is limited only by his imagination….”
          Not entirely true. Now It’s only limited by his wallet.

  3. Well, Hirst is no Gerhardt Richter. Sadly there will be plenty of artists willing to be the skilled hands for Hirst, just as many did for Thomas Kincade. Same arrangement, different audience.

    1. I was curious at your remark re Kinkade. so i looked it up. Unlike Hirst, Kinkade didn’t employ other artists to make his work. He put the originals in a warehouse, and had reproductions printed, to which he would add a few touches of paint, highlights here and there. His biography is fascinating!!!! Did you know he adored Warhol? I believe Kinkade’s work is awful……for Now. but i also believe in the future he will be celebrated as one of the defining artists of the 20th century.

  4. Damien Hirst happened to get lucky and become a media darling at a time in the art world when people were speculating on art and funding any young artist with a name. He has ridden on that wave ever since.

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