Damien Who?

From the Times:

But, at first, the thought of painting in this Photo Realist manner intimidated him. When he began in earnest about three and a half years ago, he realized why.

"I started out airbrushing," he said. "But the images looked flat, dead. For two years I didn't think it was going to work." Finally, he said, he disciplined himself to represent each image faithfully by hand.

Still, he doesn't consider himself a serious painter. "I would feel uncomfortable putting myself in a category with other painters like Goya or Bacon," he said. "I'm more interested in the images than the painting."

From Linda Yablonsky on Artforum.com:
Though many guests made the connection, Hirst may have thought he was avoiding comparisons to Jeff Koons by ordering hired hands to paint each piece in this chilling body of work rather badly. (One assistant was reportedly fired for painting too well.)
But I hope he didn't think he was avoiding comparisons to another Damien who makes paintings "in photo-realist style from pictures in magazines and print ads": Damien Loeb.

But my favorite quote from Yablonsky captures a whole swath of the art world's, "I'm here, so it must be important" sense of audacious self-consciousness, without a hint of self-awareness:

At these prices [up to $2mm] it's difficult to understand how paintings that are not going to get any better with time can continue to acquire value. Though truth be elusive, let's just say that that is exactly Hirst's point: to empty art of meaning. In a market where money is so disposable, how can art transcend mere currency to become more than just a brand? If this is indeed Hirst's message, then he has issued a galling challenge to every other living artist. It will be interesting to see who takes it up.
Or not. Because it's not like anyone's ever paid more than $2 million for a painting before, or even for a Hirst.

As some smart aleck said in the NY Times, "Just because you've spent a lot of time and money on something doesn't mean it's very good."
Taste for the Macabre but No Pickled Sharks [nyt]
High and Dry, Linda Yablonsky [artforum.com]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

post info

first published: March 15, 2005.

next older post:
Let The Name...'Moses'...Be Stricken From Every Public Obelisk...

next newer post:
There Oughta Be A Reality Series

recent projects, &c.

Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99