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Damien Hirst – Artist or Con Man?

Posted April 5th, 2012

Contemporary Art, England, Shows


“Some artists prefer not to talk about the value of their work. Damien Hirst clearly revels in it, going so far as to call art “the greatest currency in the world”.

On the eve of Hirst’s first major retrospective in his native Britain, he hit back at a leading critic who dismissed him as a conman and advised anyone owning his work to sell it fast.

Julian Spalding, a curator and critic who has just written a short book called “Con Art – Why you ought to sell your Damien Hirsts while you can“, The Independent (UK) ” target=”_blank”>went on the attack last week with articles in at least two national newspapers.

They were designed to coincide both with the release of his book and the opening this week of an exhibition at Tate Modern tracing Hirst’s journey from a student at Goldsmiths College to the world’s most commercially successful living artist.

Spalding questioned whether Hirst, known for his shark suspended in formaldehyde, a diamond-encrusted skull, spot paintings and medicine cabinets, was an artist at all and described his works, which fetch millions at auction, as “worthless financially”.

Damien Hirst’s Artworks Are Like Junk Bonds, Says Critic
Julian Spalding: “If you want a pickled shark in a tank, you don’t have to pay the $12m Steve Cohen paid for the one selected by Hirst. You only pay that much for the artistic content that Hirst has added to it. If there isn’t any, what are you buying? … Damien Hirst isn’t an artist. His works … have no artistic content and are worthless as works of art. They are, therefore, worthless financially.” More at The Independent (UK)

Damien Hirst’s Artworks Are Excellent Investments, Replies Damien Hirst
“It’s like, you say ‘sell your Hirst’. I say ‘don’t sell your Hirsts, hang on to them.’ If you look at the numbers … [art is] the greatest currency in the world.” More at Yahoo/Reuters


The question is, if Hirst is such a great artist, why is it he never appeared on “The Simpsons”?

Video: TateShots – Damien Hirst, For the Love of God

VIDEO: Damien Hirst Walkthrough with curator Ann Gallagher and Damien Hirst

“Damien Hirst” at the TATE runs from April 4 to September 9 and is sponsored by the Qatar Museums Authority.

Vernissage.TV: Damien Hirst Retrospective at Tate Modern, London

Damien Hirst Retrospective at Tate Modern, London von vernissagetv