Friday, October 16, 2009

OOOOO, Sparkles!!

I am not sure if I am a fan of Damien Hirst. Yes, I like most of his ideas, but I am so professionally offended by his art factory and general whoring it up that I have a hard time really appreciating his concepts. For the Love of God was no exception. I can really get behind the inspiration, which was reportedly his mother asking him something along the lines of, "well... what are you going to do now?" Of course, cover a skull with diamonds. Personally, I would have trained hamsters to perform The Rite of Spring but with a post apocalyptic twist (after three martinis, you would totally pay to see this).

The funny thing about this skull is that the idea has to be the artistic genius in this piece as Hirst in no way did this himself. Not that I would necessarily fault him for this as he is not a jeweler, however it is the flawless execution which is the real selling point of this piece. Seriously, if it wasn't flawless it wouldn't be creepy or nearly so emotive. Hearken back to the scandal with Spiritus Callidus #2 by John LeKay; the Pillsbury-esque crystal skulls which is the idea that Hirst allegedly ripped off. The reason why no one really bought into the concept stealing (no matter how likely it was the Hirst did take the idea) was that a professional jeweler doing an amazing job of faceting the skull took the concept to an original place. Bearing this controversy in mind, Hirst can in no way take credit or copyright of this sparkly skull idea otherwise he opens a can of worms all over himself. Well, this is where irony steps in. You can now own your own 'diamond encrusted skull' from Pottery Barn. I heart you karma.

Hey kid... You wanna buy a skull?:

Do you think it is a rip off?:


  1. I have seen a trend in Damien-Hirst-hating lately that I hope will become more permanent. We just had a lecture at school from Donald Kuspit, who think's that Hirst is the uber example of the end of art. He insinuated that Hirst is usually part of the "group of investors" that buy his art at outrageously high prices so that he looks more succesful.

    I also recently read a New York Times op-Ed about Hirst: Has Conceptual Art Jumped the Shark Tank? The author argues that humans have an innate attraction to items made by human hands. Since conceptual art typically doesn't involve craftsmenship, it's really more of a commodity and financial investment than a valuable work of art. We just don't respond to it in the way we would a painting or a Clovis point.

    It's depressing that hype alone can make a person like Hirst wealthy. I've heard it said that when the absurd becomes commonplace the civilization is in its death throws. In any case, I do share your enthusiasm for Pottery Barn glitter skulls, and I sincerely hope I do not sound so bitter.

    On another note, how are you doing? Is the Northwest treating you well?

  2. There was a great article in Modern Painters last month about pop art that had this to say about our boy: "If [Damien Hirst] brings the house down, his unregulated greed will be late capitalism's cracked mirror." (in regards to his going outside the gallery system, where art can be seen for free by all, directly to the auction houses).

    Also, lets have drink sometime darling!