Monday, 30 January 2012

Old Newspapers #2

Today I was reading an old Sydney Morning Herald, and came across a fascinating article about Damien Hirst. Usually I'm not that interested in his work- all that chopping dead animals in two, seems more like butchery than art to me. But he's making a lot more money than I do that's for sure.

This article caught my eye because it was about his dot paintings. I wasn't familiar with these. He's been making them since 1986, and yet they are apparently the least known of his themes. He was inspired to make them after his dad painted blue circles on the front door of the family home. Ok then.

Picture credit

You get the idea.

The most interesting part to my mind:

Of the hundreds of spot canvases, Hirst painted only five himself. ''When I worked out how to do it, I sold one painting for, like, 50 quid and then used the money to employ other people to paint them,'' he says.

So is Damien Hirst an artist? Or a businessman? I imagine he's been called worse.

BTW The article mentioned his butterfly paintings. I hadn't heard of those either. They're fantastic! And art I think. Unless he pays someone else to do it, which he probably does. I am somewhat sad at the usage of butterflies in this way, but I think he's highlighting their beauty by creating these kaleidoscopic, trippy images. I'd love to see one.


Satia said...

The butterfly paintings are glorious (albeit, they frighten me . . . butterflies, not paintings). I am puzzling over where the line between artist and businessman collide in the context of the dot paintings. (And thank you for not showing the animal art!) Certainly, Warhol was accused of this sort of collusion and pandering in his own artwork (particularly, if memory serves, his use of silk-screening) and yet he is accepted as an artist by many critics. Performance art and slam poetry seem to likewise blur these lines and I think it's all very exciting because it forces people to discuss things that normally go overlooked and even ignored.

Louise said...

Satia- I don't think I know anyone scared of butterflies! I know plenty of people are scared of moths (all that fluttering and flapping apparently)- I've never quite understood that really, I think they're cool. You wouldn't like a butterfly house then? I hate his animal "art" so would never reproduce it here. I think he's definitely leaning on the side of businessman even though his product is art.