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Famous artist didn't do his own painting?

(319 Posts)
wowfudge Tue 26-Sep-17 08:22:30

Just heard the new children's laureate being interviewed on the radio and she used to work for Damien Hurst. She said she mixed colours and had to paint lots of little circles. If that's the Hirst work I'm thinking of, does that mean he comes up with ideas but doesn't execute them himself? A bit like a couture designer I suppose. I always thought artists did their own art.

CaoNiMartacus Tue 26-Sep-17 08:24:17

In the Renaissance it was pretty common for a master artist's students to do their work for them.

AlpacaLypse Tue 26-Sep-17 08:25:34

Meh, I've done similar stuff for artists, especially when it's a big time consuming installation type thing.

kmc1111 Tue 26-Sep-17 08:25:59

Totally normal.

ofshoes Tue 26-Sep-17 08:29:00

Wharhol did the same thing with the factory (except better of course)

2014newme Tue 26-Sep-17 08:29:57

Everyone knows this! It's his design and assistants help him. It's quite normal.

booloobalooloo Tue 26-Sep-17 08:30:16

One of my in laws worked for him. He flies in every now and again and scribbles down a sketch of what he wants then they do it. Then he comes back and signs it if he likes it..

ScipioAfricanus Tue 26-Sep-17 08:30:18

I kind of get it if you are Michaelangelo and have the whole Sistine chapel to do etc., but I do find it hard to see why modern artists can't paint their own circles (obviously different if there are millions and millions of circles I suppose). But I freely admit I don't really get modern art and am no doubt a philistine.

wowfudge Tue 26-Sep-17 08:34:53

@2014newme - clearly not everyone knows this! Fair enough, it's like couture designers having someone else cut the patterns and do the sewing. I just imagined that today artists actually did their own paintings at least.

Did Tracey Eminem have people dirty the sheets for her?

GaucheCaviar Tue 26-Sep-17 08:36:48

Rodin did the same with his sculptures. Chucked a sketch down on a page and got someone else to do the actual carving hmm

ofshoes Tue 26-Sep-17 08:39:19

I thought Michaelangelo did do the whole ceiling on his own. At least that's what Charleton Heston led me to believe.

Probably would have been good if he'd had some help from someone that'd seen some boobs before, those ice cream scoop things are unfortunate.

Firesuit Tue 26-Sep-17 08:40:24

I remember being confused when one famous British artist (don't remember which) had just sold a painting to some household name for a fortune, and was boasting his primary age child had painted it. (All details approximate, due to to me not caring enough to remember them properly.)

senua Tue 26-Sep-17 08:41:33

Ah, but what is Art?
Ask Marcel Duchamp, he's a fountain of knowledge.wink

Gentlygrowingoldermale Tue 26-Sep-17 08:42:29

For me the real artists for something like the Angel of the North were the foundry workers who scaled up the original maquette and cast the statue.

Silk screen prints are usually produced by technicians.

Many of the main stream artists (Renoir and so on) had studios full of students. Remember though Renaissance artists made their own brushes and mixed their own paints. Great skills.

2014newme Tue 26-Sep-17 08:43:38

😂@tracey eminen!

megletthesecond Tue 26-Sep-17 08:43:45

They come up with the idea and get everyone else to do it. Jeff Koons is the same I believe.

2014newme Tue 26-Sep-17 08:44:13

Damien has never sought to hide this

millifiori Tue 26-Sep-17 08:46:00

In the Renaissance they had people who were brought in as specialists in a part of the painting - so there'd be the Man Who Does Skies or The one Who's Good at Dogs. Doesn't mean the named artist isn't in charge of the whole. He envisioned and planned it and will have been exacting about standards.

Anish Kapoor (sculptor, who did the big red thing at Olympic Park) is the same. Flies in, shouts a bit, flies off again. Apparently he's a bit of a pain. Brilliant sculptor though.

millifiori Tue 26-Sep-17 08:46:53

James Patterson, novelist, doesn't write his own books. He outsources them. He quality controls the style and outlines the plots carefully. Apparently.

AngelaTwerkel Tue 26-Sep-17 08:49:55

I thought this was going to be about Walter Keane, who secretly made his wife to do his iconic horrible paintings.

Fruitcocktail6 Tue 26-Sep-17 08:50:54

I worked for him (very briefly) and to get to my office I had to walk through a big studio full of young artists working on big canvases or individual paintings. I don't know if it was stuff that would've been sold under his name but I always found it a bit weird.

heroineinahalfshell Tue 26-Sep-17 08:52:11

Senua I was listening to a radio 4 programme yesterday and there is now a theory that Marcel Duchamp was not a fountain of knowledge, but in fact "stole" credit for the pissoir from an experimental female artist:

TheWitchAndTrevor Tue 26-Sep-17 08:52:32

Some water colour artists can have a person tint their ink prints, for them.

Allabitmuchisntit Tue 26-Sep-17 08:55:57

2014newme - No, not everyone knows this actually. I didn't for a start. It's not nice to try and make people feel silly for asking a question.

Sandsunsea Tue 26-Sep-17 08:56:25

I don't see what's wrong with this. If you buy a Jamie Oliver product from the supermarket, he hasn't actually cooked it. If you buy a Vivienne Westwood dress, she hasn't actually made it. An artist as busy as Damien hirst simply won't have enough time to paint all the circles on a particular piece, it's common practice to employ others at this scale. It's his concept.

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