Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hirst's Spots

Gagosian Gallery has announced that it will present “The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011” by Damien Hirst in January 2012. The exhibitions will take place simultaneously across each of Gagosian Gallery’s eleven locations in New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Athens, Geneva, and Hong Kong.
Hirst on Spots:
I had an argument with an assistant who used to paint my spots. A fantastic argument. Because it's, like, nothing comes out of my studio unless I say it comes out of the studio. You've got loads of people working. You've got people you care about that you've known for long periods of time. When she was leaving, and she was nervous, she said, 'Well, I want a spot painting. I've painted loads for you. I've painted these spot paintings for a year, and I want one'. A year in the studio, getting paid a fiver, a tenner an hour, whatever it is. So I said, 'I'll give you a cheque for seventy thousand quid if you like. Why don't I just do that? Because you know you're going to sell it straight away. You know how to do it. Just make one of your own.' And she said, 'No. I want one of yours.' But the only difference between one painted by her and one of mine is the money.
I only ever made five spot paintings myself. Personally. I can paint spots. But when I started painting the spots I knew exactly where it was going. I knew exactly what was going to happen, and I couldn't be fucking arsed doing it. And I employed people. And my spots I painted are shite. They're shit. I did them on the wrong background, there's the pin-holes [from the compass] in the middle of the spots which at the time I said I wanted, because I wanted a kind of truth to it. Under close scrutiny, you can see the pocess by which they were made. They're shit compared to... The best person who ever painted spots for me was Rachel [Howard]. She's brilliant. Absolutely fucking brilliant. The best spot painting you can have by me is one painted by Rachel.
Hirst, Damien and Burn, Gordon (2001) On The Way to Work, London: Faber and Faber: "Interview 4: Outbuilding, Combe Martin, Monday, 30.08.09", pp82 and 90.
Below are some examples of Hirst's Spot Paintings.
Damien Hirst, Spot Painting
Damien Hirst, Aurothioglucose, 2008
Damien Hirst, BNPS-Skatole, 1995
Damien Hirst, Spot Painting
Damien Hirst, Controlled Substances Key Painting (Spot 4a), 1994 (Tate Collection)

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