Damien Hirst loves art, animals and movies. Sometimes all at once. (image via zimbio.com)


As it turns out, this news article was actually published in 2009. Boogie Woogie the movie opened the same year. This is a total blogging mishap, so I apologize for the confusion! I’m in the process of updating the info.

See the trailer for the movie here, featuring a lot of jump cuts and even more Damien Hirst lookalikes:

YouTube video

The movie has  5.3/10 rating from IMDB and a 36% from Rotten Tomatoes. Looks like it was not a huge success, Hirst participation or not. Anyway, again sorry for the confusion.

Original Post:

Damien Hirst has been through it all, hosting his own auctions, running a personal factory of assistants and opening art-themed restaurants. But a new venture has him using his talents for the big screen — Hirst will be “curating” art for a big-budget London movie lampooning Hirst’s generation-defining group, the Young British Artists (YBAs).

Though the new movie, entitled Boogie Woogie (for reasons currently beyond comprehension), will feature fictional characters, a key scene will revolve around a new exhibition of Hirst’s work, specially created, or perhaps copied, for the set. The on-screen exhibition will show “one original spin painting and reproductions of many other works, including several of [Hirst’s] biopsy paintings,” reports the UK Sunday Times. While it’s not clear what else he’ll do, I propose that Hirst make all of the fake art for the movie, creating several personae worth of studio garbage that all plays like a parody of contemporary art practice. Oh wait.

Cover of the original “Boogie Woogie” novel (image via artificalgallery.co.uk)

Boogie Woogie is based on a novel of the same name by British art world insider Danny Moynihan. Duncan Ward will direct. The pair describe the movie as “a tongue-in-cheek look at the international art scene, in which lust, ambition and power prevail and where success and failure rest on a knife edge.” It even features a lookalike of cutthroat dealer Jay Jopling; the movie version also wears the dealer’s trademark funky glasses. If that much emotion and attention is involved, look for fellow YBA Tracey Emin to pull some stunt during the film’s premiere.

Featuring Heather Graham, Jaime Winstone, Alfie Allen, Gillian Anderson, Charlotte Rampling, Joanna Lumley, Christopher Lee, Alan Cumming and Danny Huston, this movie is sure to inflate the art world’s ego in the mainstream cultural arena. Yet I’m curious about one thing. Why make Boogie Woogie fictional? Isn’t Damien Hirst’s career already satire enough?

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly, Kill Screen, Creators...

2 replies on “Damien Hirst Curates an Art World Satire [CORRECTION]”

    1. Hey Peter, yes indeed, this is from 2009. I totally messed up on the dates. We’re in the process of correcting it, sorry for the blogging mishap!

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