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Are Damien Hirst's paintings any good ?

(67 Posts)
MaryAmericanSmooth Wed 14-Oct-09 10:51:47

apparently not

Monsterspam Wed 14-Oct-09 15:43:49

Not my cup of tea but can see why people might like them. (I loved the diamond skull though.)

Katisha Wed 14-Oct-09 15:49:00

I'm going to go and have a look next month although I suspect that I am not going to "get" them...

MaryAmericanSmooth Wed 14-Oct-09 16:22:49

I don't think there's anything much to get

squeaver Wed 14-Oct-09 16:31:08

That's interesting. I'm no massive Hirst fan but was planning to pop in and see these (on my way to Selfridges ho ho). I do like his butterfly paintings though.

He's a massive egotist of course and that's basically all you need to know about him I suppose.

Of course you can also use the "can't paint" argument about Stella Vine's work which I really do not get at all.

dittany Wed 14-Oct-09 16:41:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CarmenSanDiego Wed 14-Oct-09 16:48:17

I'm always more excited by the ideas in art than the actual craft, and I love Hirst's ideas. Not really bothered (or qualified to know) whether he can paint or not. I rather liked his multicoloured spots though, even though someone else painted most of them for him.

MonstrousMerryHenry Wed 14-Oct-09 16:51:18

DH (arty farty type) reckons Hirst is all puff and nothing actually interesting going on underneath. I don't find that his work moves me in any way at all, unlike many other modern artists.

Wallace Collection is a fab place - with a lovely restaurant.

dittany Wed 14-Oct-09 16:51:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CarmenSanDiego Wed 14-Oct-09 17:10:52

I think that's rather unfair, MMH to say there's nothing interesting going on underneath. I have a lovely big book by Hirst and he's written a lot on what he does and why he does it. There's a recurring theme of mortality. The shark-in Formaldehyde for example is titled, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living'. Maybe it's a bit pretentious, but I always find the shark in particular rather haunting as a concept. I feel rather the same way about the dead shark/sheep/cow as I did going to the Bodyworlds exhibition (plasticised human corpses on display) - that it's like looking for the soul by dissecting the body.

The butterfly piece is beautiful... it almost seems like a resolution to the question about looking for the soul in something dead - that maybe it can only be done by turning the dead pieces into something else. Ooh, like reincarnation

Yeah, I quite like Hirst.

CarmenSanDiego Wed 14-Oct-09 17:14:32

I'm really not sure what people are looking to 'get' from art or how anyone can say there's 'nothing there'. Art is only art because someone (artist, viewer or another party) chooses to frame something as art and say 'This is art.'

There is no special criteria that makes something art, although certainly you can criticise craftsmanship.

If something makes me think about some sort of life or philosophical problem, I'm very happy.

dittany Wed 14-Oct-09 17:20:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CarmenSanDiego Wed 14-Oct-09 17:29:09

Yep, Dittany.

dittany Wed 14-Oct-09 17:34:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nighbynight Wed 14-Oct-09 17:39:41

The paintings in the article aren't that great, very average I would say, like the rest of D Hirsts repertoire.
He is a triumph of marketing and spin over content.

CarmenSanDiego Wed 14-Oct-09 17:43:10

I agree that his marketing is very strong. But what content should he be providing?

BoneYard Wed 14-Oct-09 17:43:57

dittany - i would love a human skull but would hate one with diamonds on (other than to sell of course grin). You can't get hold of them very easily these days...

nighbynight Wed 14-Oct-09 17:53:47

A strong image that makes you look at the subject differently (think Rembrandts portraits)
A familiar image interpreted in a way that makes you look at it differently (think the Sistine Madonna compared to all the Madonna and Childs that had been painted before it).
An image gets a message across by being strikingly decorative or memorable or haunting (Warhols Marilyns, M Quinns blood head or Kate Moss sculptures, early Lucien Freud)

A shark in aspic doesnt cut it.

CarmenSanDiego Wed 14-Oct-09 17:57:55

I really like your criteria, nightbynight. But the shark actually ticks all those boxes for me. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

dittany Wed 14-Oct-09 18:01:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaryAmericanSmooth Wed 14-Oct-09 18:02:51

actually I quite liked the shark/other formaldehyded critters but it seems to me that he has run out of ideas and reckons he'll have a go at painting - really painting and more importantly drawing from observation are the things you should start with - essential basic life drawing is the key in my opinion and sadly neglected in art schools today

MaryAmericanSmooth Wed 14-Oct-09 18:03:50

Mexicans have death images/skulls etc as decorations..Frida Kahlo had lots of death symbolism in her works

nighbynight Wed 14-Oct-09 18:05:39

The shark was BS.

It is not a striking image - its a f**g shark. Hirst didn't do anything to create an image. Any fool can stick a shark in a tank and say its art.

Not any fool could create Warhols or Marc Quinns work.

Because it was just a thing in a tank in a gallery, there was no narrative. The Sistine Madonna is a painting about the past, the present and the future - the shark fails this test.

Look, the thing about bringing an ordinary object into a gallery without doing anythign to it, was DONE, done before the first world war when (forgotten his name) put a urinal in a gallery.
The shark might have passed the test of being a strong image if it had been used on a giant billboard to sell cigarettes or beer - in a gallery, it doesnt just look weak and unoriginal, it is weak and unoriginal.

nighbynight Wed 14-Oct-09 18:07:24

When I was at art school, I had dozens of ideas similar to hirsts livestock years. I never bothered to put them into practise, because they were too stupid.

MaryAmericanSmooth Wed 14-Oct-09 18:14:30

I agree with you nightbynight but to play devil's advocate here a bit - he did have to source his shark, figure out logistics for preserving,tank size etc etc which in a way is a process,albeit technical, but a creative process..p;lus the shark at least works because it's suspended there,dead because it's not moving -as sharks will die if not constantly in motion. I reckon he then tried to apply this to the cow/calf etc

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