Here’s the intro to Jonathan Jones piece in the Guardian on Hirst’s new exhibiion  – white cube bermondsey dontcha know. Quality.

The last time I saw paintings as deluded as Damien Hirst‘s latest works, the artist’s name was Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. A decade ago the son of Libya’s then still very much alive dictator showed sentimental paintings of desert scenes in an exhibition sponsored by fawning business allies. Searching for some kind of parallel to the arrogance and stupidity of Hirst’s still life paintings, I find myself remembering that strange, sad spectacle.

Damien Hirst: Two Weeks One Summer
  1. White Cube Bermondsey
  2. London
  3. 23 May – 8 July 2012

There is a pathos about Two Weeks One Summer, in which Hirst shows paintings of parrots and lemons, shark’s jaws and foetuses in jars in a vast space in White Cube Bermondsey. It is the same kind of pathos that clings to dictators’ art. This is the kind of kitsch that is foisted on helpless peoples by Neros and Hitlers and such tyrants so beyond normal restraint or criticism they believe they are artists. I am not saying this to be cruel. There is a real analogy: Hirst like an absolute ruler must be utterly surrounded by a court of yes-people, all down the line from his painting shed to the gallery, if there is no one to tell him he is rowing himself to artistic damnation with these trivial and pompous slabs of hack work.



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  1. Keith

    There was something fresh about the Dadaist’s concept art & its then shock value – it also wasn’t about making money. This sort of art, emasculated & commodified, has been sliding down that hill now for nearly a century.


    An excellent critique Ian!…See how that other sycophantic ‘artist’ Tracey vERmin scratched out a duff ‘portrait’ of the Madge Windbag at her dinner for assorted autocratic murderer dictators, schlerotic paedophile monarchs, Sultans of the International arms trade and other upper-class dross- saying she wanted it to be ‘sexy and powerful’ (wretch) which it wasn’t. This is after giving Scamoron some of her formless scrawls for No.10.

    Hirst freely admits his work is ‘shit’ as he laughs all the way to the bank, on the back of the super-rich and the corporate buyers who now view all art as ‘currency’ to hedge against turbulent economic times.

    Tristan Tzara would be spinning in his grave, with all this neo-neo-neo-cheque-book Dadaism.
    Art must be abolished if it is to be realised.

  3. beetroot soup

    Tracy emin is shit as well.

  4. Anonymous

    And who owns the White Cube? Why it’s Old Etonian Jay Jopling. What a coincidence.


  5. Anonymous

    The promotion of the YBAs (Young British Artists) such as Hirst and Emin can be laid squarely at the door of Charles Saatchi who made a pile out of advertising (selling shit) then started playing the art market. I walked round a free exhibition of Saatchi’s collection of YBA paintings at the Whitechapel in the late 80s or early 90s. I thought it was shit. There was nothing of any worth, nothing showing latent talent, but above all there was no coherence. There was a bit of this, a bit of that. I then paid a visit to Freedom Bookshop, met the late Arthur Moyse who I shared a drink or three with in some boozer and went round the exhibition again whilst Arthur told me exactly why each painting was shit. I am advised by those on the edges of the art world that Saatchi did not lose money on his financial ventures into art. Buy fairly cheap, build them up, then sell higher. Laughing all the way to the bank.

  6. Hirst has had it – He is in self destruct mode. He can’t even see he didn’t do the work!

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