"His work," writes Gallagher, measuredly, "is characterised by its directness as well as its ambition; it is both deadpan and affecting, and it provokes awe and outrage in equal measure."
March 14, 2012 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Damien Hirst: 'I still believe art is more powerful than money' Damien Hirst has gone from mouthy YBA to global brand over the past 25 years – and become the world's richest living artist on the way. Here he talks about money, mortality and his first retrospective in Britain posted by fearfulsymmetry (36 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Does he give us his definition of 'power'? Because certainly he'd have had no way in hell of putting a giant dead shark in a steel and glass cage full of liquid and then trucking it to a museum without money (his or someone else's). So, you know, chicken or the egg.
posted by spicynuts at 9:23 AM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


So he went from "you'll never see my work in the Tate while I'm alive" to a retrospective at the Tate in fifteen years.

Sonofabitch has commodified selling out.
posted by notsnot at 9:26 AM on March 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is one of the best takes on Hirst I've ever seen.
posted by splatta at 9:28 AM on March 14, 2012 [19 favorites]


He's no K Foundation.
posted by Artw at 9:32 AM on March 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


When I moved down to Devon, I stuck it outside behind a barn. Millicent [Wilner] from Gagosian came down to visit and she was freaking out: 'Why have you put it there? In the rain! Jesus Christ, Damien!' It was like gold because it was me, but, really, it's shit."

Heh
posted by Hoopo at 9:33 AM on March 14, 2012


He's no K Foundation.

Few are
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:34 AM on March 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


So he went from "you'll never see my work in the Tate while I'm alive" to a retrospective at the Tate in fifteen years.

In other once-young British artist news: Johnny Rotten destroys the passerby via a slightly increased risk of heart disease and a realisation that almost all of their icons have sold out.
posted by jaduncan at 9:35 AM on March 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Heh. Punk was born sold out, that's it's entire point.
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I still believe art is more powerful than money. But both? That's the shit."
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:38 AM on March 14, 2012


NOTE: You must like this many [⌐--------------¬] contemporary artists to sneer in this thread.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:43 AM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heads up: Damien Hirst
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:43 AM on March 14, 2012


notsnot: Sonofabitch has commodified selling out.

As quoted in splatta's great link, Damien did say "As an artist you always make work from what’s around you and money is around me," apparently talking about the diamond skull.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:44 AM on March 14, 2012


Jumping the pickled shark.
posted by Skeptic at 9:45 AM on March 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would appreciate the opportunity to test his hypothesis. Art is very powerful, so I suspect it will take me a lot of money to conduct my experiment. TIA!
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:45 AM on March 14, 2012


NOTE: You must like this many [⌐--------------¬] contemporary artists to sneer in this thread.

I actually quite like hirst, or at least the Vitrines and the medical stuff. As ever they are more impressive seen in the right setting than as thumbnail photographs or snotty descriptions. Also he has a work of art on Mars! Somewhere, possibly, unless it burnt up. That's quite cool.
posted by Artw at 9:45 AM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually live within walking distance of his factory out here in the countryside. Its one of the many reasons we moved out here, actually. I liked being part of a town whose biggest export was Art.
posted by vacapinta at 9:48 AM on March 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


The spin paintings are lazy crap, mind. Maybe that's the point, but it doesn't really grab me.
posted by Artw at 9:53 AM on March 14, 2012


Well, I still like him better than Koons.

And I would totally buy a book showcasing his private collection.
posted by Theta States at 9:53 AM on March 14, 2012


I don't think much of Hirst's work. But so what? Like a few very wealthy wall street guys I know, he seems to have gotten what he wanted, even if it was at the expense of other things. I don't believe for a second that he values art over money, though.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:58 AM on March 14, 2012


Art may be more powerful than money but uranium is more powerful than both.
posted by jonmc at 9:59 AM on March 14, 2012


Yes...nothing overpowers Uranus.
posted by spicynuts at 10:08 AM on March 14, 2012


I actually live within walking distance of his factory out here in the countryside.
I spent some years making car door parts in a factory on that same estate; not had any offers of a retrospective of my classic MG trim from the Tate yet though.
posted by Abiezer at 10:20 AM on March 14, 2012


Stuckism!

Plus Bill Drummond (one half of the K foundation) doing King of Joy (with The Triffids as a backing band, mind you.)
posted by elmono at 10:23 AM on March 14, 2012


Sonofabitch has commodified selling out.

Warhol beat him to it by 30+ years - although I think Warhol was, at least initially, consciously treating celebrity and the marketing of his work as conceptual art forms in themselves.

AW seemed to end up in thrall to ideas that he had used for more interesting purposes, but I don't get the impression that Hirst ever had any real aversion to unvarnished hype or profiteering.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:25 AM on March 14, 2012


I like how the stuckists expand their ideas to also cover web design
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:29 AM on March 14, 2012


Yeah, at his prime Hirst was an annoying rich drunken lout, now he's an annoying rich bore. But the work... when you see it in actuality... I've never not been kind of amazed by it. That shark seems to leap and thrash about in its tank as you walk around it - because formaldehyde has a different refractive index to water. Even stuff like the spot and the spin paintings have some sort of monstrous purity to them. He seems to have a better track record than the other YBAs who seem to produced just one or two interesting things each then an avalanche of crap.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:33 AM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stuckism? More like suckism, amirite?

I think I just want to make an art movement called "Headupassism"
posted by symbioid at 12:12 PM on March 14, 2012


He seems to have a better track record than the other YBAs who seem to produced just one or two interesting things each then an avalanche of crap.

You know, I just told Chris Ofili you said that, and it made him cry.

Actually, imho, there's some amazing work done by the other Brit artists during that time that I do enjoy quite a bit more. To me Hirt's work makes me like them less and in comparison, Hirt's work seems all PT Barnum. And that includes the whole stealing other people's ideas and marketing them better.
posted by alex_skazat at 1:24 PM on March 14, 2012


I loved David Walsh's take on Hirst in the electronic guide at Hobart's privately funded Museum of Old and New Art. Paraphrased, it was something like "Damien Hirst is the world's highest paid artist. He doesn't deserve to be. Mind you, I really like this piece and I think it looks great in the gallery; but that could just be me coming to terms with the fact that I blew half a million bucks on it."
posted by andraste at 3:17 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, I just told Chris Ofili you said that, and it made him cry.

Heh, I don't think Ofili has managed even one or two interesting things...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:07 PM on March 14, 2012


I think that Damien Hirst is a talented artist.

But the K Foundation are on a whole other level.
posted by ovvl at 7:24 PM on March 14, 2012


Damien Hirst and the great art market heist - It's Standard Anti-Hirst Rant to begin with but there's some interesting stuff on the gaming of the art market later on
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:40 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


www.damienhirst.com (auto video/livefeed from studio)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:20 AM on March 23, 2012


Live studio feed, pay-per-view, $57/3 hours.
posted by Theta States at 6:34 AM on March 23, 2012


Huh? Well it's free from here.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:20 AM on March 23, 2012


/snark
posted by Theta States at 6:02 AM on March 26, 2012


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