Might be worth it if you have the time and interest...
"Visit all eleven Gagosian Gallery locations during the exhibition The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011 and receive a signed spot print by Damien Hirst, dedicated personally to you.
Participants must register with a valid email and mailing address to be eligible. Following registration, participants must retrieve their official registration card at any Gagosian Gallery location and present government issued Photo ID in order to participate."
Hirst is not only the world's richest artist, but a transformative figure who can be assured of his place in history. Sadly – for him and for us – this is not because of the quality of his work but because he has almost single-handedly remade the global art market in his image: that is to say, the image of the artist as celebrity clown, the licensed working-class fool who not only shits on us from on top of his pile of cash, but persuades us to buy that shit and beg for more.
Particularly if you take in to consideration the inventory of 223, at last count, unsold significant Hirst works dating back 10 years at White Cube alone. For those who aren't familiar with the story from some years ago, here are details of the inventory that was leaked the day before the Sotheby's sale:
Yes, these hidden Hirsts are all about pretending to the market that there is a waiting list that can't be satisfied. The truth is that there is a glut of the stuff waiting to be shifted.
The Guardian critique of Hirst and the market is long overdue. The article paints a bad picture too of the disgracefully compromised 'critics' in the UK who have - almost to a man - written what amounts to advertising for the Hirst brand. Many of them have written introductory essays for his exhibition catalogues that reveal an unhealthy bias. Accordingly many of the commentators on the Guardian site have taken the opportunity to bash the Guardian's own art critics as well as Hirst. Deservingly so in my opinion. The critic Tim Marlow never misses an opportunity to sing Hirst's praises. Marlow is also an employee of the White Cube gallery who represent Hirst. In any other field this would be deemed an unacceptable conflict of interest.
Then there are the museums which have until the last decade or so traditionally been regarded as 'neutral' bastions of quality. Hirst donated £250 000 to the Wallace Collection for refurbishing the wall paper(!) and shortly thereafter showed his piss poor attempts at oil painting alongside Titian in that selfsame gallery. Thus leading many people to question the integrity of one of the UK's most respected art institutions. This was the one body of work that drew the critic's ire, painted by his own hand and bought instantly by a Russian oligarch.
Many previously supportive critics saw what most people know already: Hirst hides behind conceptual art sophistry and has no real talent. It comes as no surprise that these paintings have been edited out of his oeuvre for this forthcoming Tate retrospective. They have effectively been excised out of memory and art history to all intents and purposes.
His retrospective is already being viewed by many as a desperate bid to maintain the value of the failing Hirst brand using the UK's leading artworld showroom; the Tate Modern. And all paid for by the tax payer of course.
Damien Hirst: putting the con in Conceptual since 1988.
Haha - Choe is certainly up there, but I'm pretty sure Hirst still has him covered by a wide margin.
His massive 2008 Sotheby's 'Beautiful' sale alone grossed $200mm. The sheer amount of work this guy has sold in the last 25 years is absurd and much of it was for 6-7 figures a pop.
I guess no one really knows. Hirst sells alot but also has alot of expenses. Sunday Times Rich List, placed Hirst at a net worth of £235m in 2011. In David Choe's interview with Howard Stern, he hinted that he was worth in excess of $500 million.
It's fairly well known around these parts that I see Hirst as a corrupting influence on our art institutions. With this in mind here is a current review from one of Britain's high profile art critics in one of our top quality broadsheets:
'The exquisitely produced catalogue has an essay by a senior curator at the Prado in Madrid, who draws comparisons with Caravaggio and Velázquez. Yikes. It would be impressive stuff if we did not have the paltry reality of Hirst's paintings before our eyes. At White Cube, I pass from picture to picture, trying not to crack up laughing or actually swear out loud. The exercise feels like a parody of being an art critic, for these are humourless parodies of paintings. Like the Prado expert I can spot the analogies – lemons, how Zurbarán – but they work only to destroy and humiliate Hirst's daubs'.
This section is both poignant - and to my mind - completely on the money:
'At their very best these paintings lack the skill of thousands of amateur artists who paint at weekends all over Britain – and yet he can hire fools to compare him with Caravaggio'.
Another cultural institution's integrity bites the dust.
Edited to add: Apologies. I have had trouble getting the link to work. All is fine now.
Last Edit: May 23, 2012 19:17:29 GMT -8 by naivejohn