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
- White Cube Bermondsey
- 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.