I Am Worried About Damien Hirst.

Floating Skull, 2006, oil on canvas(C) by Damien Hirst; photo by Sergey Illin courtesy of the Pinchuk Art Centre


When I read our correspondent's review of the current Damien Hirst exhibition 'Requiem' in Kiev I am worried about Damien Hirst.


In 2005 Damien Hirst was asked by Mirta D’Argenzio for the catalogue of his 2005 retrospective in Naples, Italy, how he would consider his ‘spin paintings’:



‘I don’t know. I think they are probably the weakest aspect of my work. I love it when the machine is turning, but as soon as they are dry and stop I get bored very quickly of them. If I had one on my wall I would turn it. (...) What do you think of them? Shit!’



In 2008 the marketing genius Hirst sold off the content of his own warehouse/factory in a one-man-Sotheby’s-auction ‘Beautiful inside my head forever’. He was lucky: He realized € 140,000,000 the same day Lehman Bros. Investment bank filed for bankruptcy. This historic auction marked the last day of the contemporary art market bubble at the beginning of this century.



Half a year later he gives away signed do-it-yourself-spin-paintings for free at the opening weekend of his retrospective ‘Requiem’ at the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev, Ukraine. (In the Sotheby’s auction he sold the spin paintings around $ 100,000. I wonder what these collectors think about their purchase now...).



I have the impression: This man really hates what he does!



Damien Hirst states that he stopped his work series of


even thinks of stopping his formaldehyde tanks.


Thank you very much for not bothering the audience any more with more and more of the same.


Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love some works by Damien Hirst:



A Thousand Years, 1990, steel, glass, flies, maggots, MDF, Insect-O-Cutor, cow's head, sugar, water (C) by Damien Hirst; photo (C) by Sergey Illin courtesy of Pinchuk Art Centre

'A Thousend Years' is ingenious: It brings the whole life cycle together within one work of art!


I also loved the first shark tank icon piece 'The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living' of 1991 because it drastically demonstrates what the title says. (Unitl I saw it recently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Ciy: Even the replacement shark was already rotting - It didn't look scary at all.)



Death Denied 2008 glass, steel, shark, acrylic and formadehyde solution (C) by Damien Hirst, photo (C) by Sergey Illin courtesy of the Pinchuk Art Centre

I consider 'Away from the Flock' and 'Mother and Child Divided' as some of the best pieces Hirst made.


Away from the Flock, 1994, glass, steel, lamb and formaldehyde solution(C) by Damien Hirst, photo (C) by Sergey Illin courtesy of Pinchuk Art Centre


But I also think that Hirst made too much of the same with too little brain effort to create something really good.



The Promise of Money, 2003, resin, cow hair, sling, chain, hook, blood, Iraqi money and mirror by Damien Hirst (C); photo (C) by Sergey Illin courtesy of Pinchuk Art Centre


I have the impression Hirst now is quite fed up with his recent work. This can be the reason why he is even giving it away like a free souvenir.




News says he wants to do something new. That is good.




And it were not Damien Hirst if he wouldn’t manage to reinvent himself again and surprise everybody with some really exciting new art.




by U. G. L.





‘Requiem’ by Damien Hirst at Pinchuk Art Centre, in Kiev, Ukraine 24th April 2009 – 20th September 2009.





Read more about the Damien Hirst Requiem exhibition in Kiev




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Tony, 04-05-09 11:02
U.G., you are right:

Hirst really sold successfully the 10.000th copy/variation of his own works.

This made him even richer, but obviously not happy...
Karsten, 14-05-09 09:50
I read he even gave up legal and illegal drugs - good for him!!
Kurt, 02-06-09 18:31
Looks good to me. To keep the people interest the challenge will be how to ad creatice and biting comments.
Auth, 27-02-13 13:03
Just like a B&S cept with a German theme set fire to your lederhosen and watch out feirluans. The university of the brown eye is never short of ides.
riepemtz, 03-03-13 10:11

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